Man accused of stealing wallets from Westside Tennis Club lockers

HOUSTON – Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen said that a member of the Westside Tennis Club has been arrested and is accused of stealing cash, credit cards and IDs from the locker room. 

Lonnie Jackson told KPRC 2 that he thought he had misplaced his wallet when he couldn't find it in his gym bag.

"I looked in my tennis bag. I looked back at the club. I talked to several people and went to the lost and found," Jackson said. "It was a pretty sick feeling, because I had my driver's license, regular credit card. I had health cards. I had medical cards and $200 in cash in there."

Jackson said that he was playing in a tournament at the club, and a few hours after he left, his phone started ringing. 

"On my way home I started getting calls from credit card companies," Jackson said. He said that his bank reported fraudulent charges on his credit card at a nearby grocery store. 

Rosen said that Jackson wasn't the only victim. He said that his office was contacted by the owners of the facility, who were concerned that someone was breaking into the lockers. Rosen said investigators identified the thief as Joseph Emerson, a member of the club. 

"He would go there and act like he was working out or act like he was doing something, and really he was breaking into lockers and finding people's wallets and stealing," Rosen said.

Rosen said that Emerson was caught on surveillance cameras purchasing gift cards at nearby grocery stores or pharmacies, and he would then sell the gift cards for half the cost. 

Rosen said that when Emerson was questioned by investigators he confessed to everything. 

"He, unfortunately, has an addiction problem and sadly, that was what we determined on this thing," Rosen said. 

According to officials, a total of 10 credit cards and two Texas driver's licenses were stolen from a total of eight people.

Emerson was booked on a charge of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information. 

Management at the Westside Tennis Club declined to comment. 

Jackson said that he is grateful to the Westside Tennis Club and investigators for clearing things up quickly, but he has already made some changes. 

"I'm no longer carrying my new wallet in my bag," said Jackson.

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