77ºF

Police: Employee held at gunpoint in gym robbery

Robber sought after taking money from Youfit Health Club, JSO says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police are searching for a robber who held an employee at gunpoint early Friday at a Brentwood gym, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Monday. 

A man wearing a camouflage jacket walked into the Youfit Health Club on Norwood Avenue about 4:30 a.m. and inquired about using the restroom, police said.

As he exited the restroom, police said, the man held an employee at gunpoint, demanding money from the cash register. 

The robber grabbed the money and then took off in a white, four-door sedan, police said.

The Sheriff's Office on Monday released surveillance images of the man sought. Investigators said he was described as a 19 or 20-year-old black male, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 120-125 pounds and armed with a silver or chrome handgun.

The gym told News4Jax that a memo was sent to all members to alert them about Friday's incident, during which several members were working out since the facility is open 24 hours during the week. 

"This is very shocking to hear that a place that someone comes out to relieve stress and try to work out, to hear that something like this has happened is very shocking," said Ronald Mingo, a member of Youfit Health Club.

The crime took place just a few yards away from a JSO substation that's in the same shopping center.

Despite the holdup, gym members like Mingo said they don't plan on canceling their membership anytime soon. 

"It just lets me know not to come that early in the morning," Mingo said. 

Anyone who recognizes the man seen in the images or knows his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.