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Downey : Manager of Health Club Arrested in Grand Theft

March 16, 1989

The manager of a local health club has been arrested on suspicion of grand theft after allegedly selling memberships without telling buyers that the facility was soon closing, police said.

Downey resident John Robert Prell, 34, manager of the 24-Hour Nautilus in the Stonewood Shopping Center, was released on $25,000 bail Tuesday shortly after his arrest.

A Downey police spokesman said the department had received more than 100 complaints from patrons who picketed the club Tuesday, claiming they had been deceived. Patrons said they were told that the club was closing temporarily for remodeling, but became concerned Tuesday when heavy equipment was being removed.

Sgt. Robert Grandolfo said that Stonewood management did not renew the health club's lease and had given Prell notice last October to move out by April 1. "Prell was taking money for memberships up until Sunday," he said. Prell will be arraigned on the charges in two weeks, Grandolfo said.

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