Man feigning sleep charged after gym vandalism

Michelle Theriault Boots

Anchorage police say a 29-year-old man broke in to a Midtown gym Sunday morning, destroyed tens of thousands of dollars worth of office equipment, ripped a water fountain off a wall and then, believing himself to be locked inside, pretended to be asleep when police showed up.

Police were called to Body Renew Alaska fitness club, located at 202 East Northern Lights Boulevard, at 6 a.m. on Sunday, the Anchorage Police Department said in a press release Sunday.

"Upon arrival, police found computers, phones, the fax machine and other office equipment thrown to the ground and completely destroyed. The vandal had also torn a water fountain off the wall causing extensive water damage. In total, damages are estimated to be approximately $20,000-$30,000," the release said.

Officers found a man identified as Deepak Chaudhary, 29, "hiding in the gym between two exercise mats," feigning sleep.

Chaudhary got into the gym with an electronic key card issued to members, police said. It's not known how he ended up with a card.

"While destroying the office equipment, he inadvertently disabled the electronic door mechanism, locking himself inside the building. Apparently, Chaudhary failed to notice the emergency exit and remained trapped inside until police arrived," police said.

Chaudhary was arrested and charged with burglary and felony criminal mischief.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.