Rustlers steal dozens of golf carts from Port Charlotte golf course
CHARLOTTE COUNTY - Employees at a Charlotte County golf course arrived to work early Tuesday morning to find they had been robbed overnight and this isn't the first time. A golf cart rustler is on the loose.
"We know they're worth money. We're assuming they're going on a truck and maybe off the state of Florida and onto some islands that could use golf carts," said The Cove of Rotunda Golf Center's Director of Golf, Cathy Edelen after receiving a call from employees early Tuesday morning.
She said, "They were the first on the property and noticed the cables had been cut and we were missing 14 to 16 carts." It was déjà vu for Edelen after receiving a similar call in January, when 16 carts were reported missing from the property. The Cove replaced missing carts through insurance and called it a lesson learned.
"We kept the carts in the parking lot, down at the other end they were in the dark end and they took the 14 from the back part of that. We moved them up to the front of the building, put lights on them and new cameras on them," she said. Until cart crooks returned Tuesday, slashed surveillance cameras, and unscrewed lights.
She said, "I guess they can fit 14, 16 on a truckload is what seems to be happening, so they're driving them off the back of the property and loading them on a truck on an access road, cattycornered to the facility."
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation in January. Katie Heck, Public Information Officer for Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said,"In these situations. We have an intelligence unit that kind of determines a certain time frame of these cases and provides a lot of extra security and patrol to that area and unfortunately they just happened to show up at a time that there was not that extra patrol."
The Cove is missing nearly 25% of their carts. Edelen said tee time was delayed nearly three hours Tuesday morning as a result. "When they come to play, they usually arrive 40 minutes before their tee time to a half hour. Right now, the people that are arriving for their tee time have to wait until it's almost their turn to go in order to load up and it's a problem, it's inconveniencing them," she said.