Berkeley yoga studios concerned about thefts, police looking for 26-year-old suspect

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Berkeley Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of 26-year-old Christopher Damon Newton, described as 6'1" with a large build.

Police allege that Newton stole a person's wallet and clothing from a downtown Berkeley studio in September.

It's something Kelly Johnson is concerned about, her studio Hella Yoga in downtown Berkeley got hit by theft, also in September. Police have not confirmed if Newton is also the suspect.

"It's devastating and it's really unfortunate because we're hit by a professional, we had no clue when the gentleman came," said Johnson.

Johnson says the man came into the studio, pretended to sign up for a yoga class, then took off with her client's belongings.

"My wallet, my phone, my car keys, basically everything. Everything that was in my trousers was gone," Ryosi Kaneko who lost a few hundred dollars in the theft.

The incident has not stopped him from coming back, he just makes sure to lock up his belongings. He even built the studio new cubbies with locks, that's how much he loves practicing at Hella Yoga.

"I'm happy doing yoga, it's good for me," he said.

The studio also locks up during class and keeps a security camera running.

"Let this be just a lesson learned, keep working out, still go forward, still have faith in other people," said Johnson.

Police are asking anyone who sees Newton to call Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5900 or anyone with information on the case to call Berkeley Police Department's Property Crimes Unit at 510-981-5737.
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