Woman kidnapped leaving Planet Fitness, forced to withdraw money

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South woman was kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from an ATM after leaving the gym.

And that wasn't the only crime the kidnapper is alleged to have committed.

Memphis Police Department said two of the crimes happened at ATMs in Whitehaven.

Court documents show the 19-year-old confessed to a Whitehaven crime spree that started March 27 at the Planet Fitness off Elvis Presley Boulevard.

According to investigators, Derrick Johnson and another man grabbed a woman who was leaving the gym at gunpoint and forced her to drive a few blocks away to a Regions Bank.

At the bank, police said the two men forced the woman to withdraw $340. The woman was able to escape a short time later.

It's a crime still talked about days later at the gym, that has people now more aware of their surroundings while coming and going.

"You can't come out of the building with your phone in your hand, your head down, not paying attention to your surroundings. Because if you don't pay attention to your surroundings like vehicles, vans, or trucks sitting next to you, then you are going to be a victim if you don't pay attention," gym member LaTonya Carter said.

Two days later, police said Johnson and two others struck again, this time twice in one day.

First, at a Bank of America on East Shelby Drive where police say the trio snuck up from behind on a man at an ATM, put a gun to his back, and punched him.

The three took off with his debit card and PIN, according to investigators.

That same day, they attempted to rob someone at the IHOP.

The crime spree came to an end for Johnson when the woman from the gym was able to identify him in a photo lineup.

Police arrested Johnson on Tuesday, and he confessed to his part in the crimes.

Johnson is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated kidnapping.

Planet Fitness released the following statement on the matter:

"The safety of our members is Planet Fitness' top priority. We are shocked and saddened that this occurred in the shopping center plaza and we are grateful that the victim is safe. Our franchise group is working closely with the local authorities to assist with the investigation in any way possible. As this is an ongoing investigation, we defer any additional questions to the police."

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