Seven golf carts stolen from Portsmouth city park

Posted at 11:50 PM, Jul 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-17 23:50:04-04

Portsmouth, Va. - What may be a joyride for thieves, is a killjoy for the city of Portsmouth.

Seven of the city's 13 golf carts have been stolen from the Links at City Park since last August, 2 last year, four in April and two more earlier this month.

"It’s real frustrating because we don't have that many carts already," says Matt Watson, who works for the Links at City Park as a Golf Pro.  "Once they cut the chain, there's really nothing to stop them from there. They tend to drive them off and wreck them. They could be in the lakes, they could be anywhere."

Portsmouth Police Detective Misty Holley believes the cart thefts are connected and it's teens doing the stealing looking for a good time.

"You know the adrenaline rush you get from cutting the bolt, riding off in a stolen golf cart and you know you wave at your friends,” Det. Holley says. “I mean it's just an adrenaline rush and it's fun for them."

However, it’s not fun for golfers left to walk the Links. Watson says it's not uncommon to run out of carts on a busy morning.

"It’s an inconvenience. Especially on a day like today when it's 100 degrees outside and not too many people are interested in walking."

One golf cart was recovered in April. It was found near the Cherokee Park apartments, not even five minutes away.

Luckily that one could be repaired. But the others, valued at $5,000 a pop, the city has to replace.

So now Portsmouth is stepping up security.

After the last two carts were stolen, the city decided to take action. If there is a next time, it will all be caught on camera.

"All night we have security roaming the property and they will be caught on camera," Watson says.

If you have any information about the thefts, call the CRIME LINE at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.