Crime Stoppers: Golf bag grabber

CMPD searching for golf club thief

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Crime at a golf course is very rare. There's a level of trust among golfers, and you don't expect that when your put your bag of clubs down you won't see them again.

But it happened recently, and police are now trusting in some good surveillance video of the thief and his getaway vehicle to find the bag grabber.

At the beautiful Golf Club at Ballantyne, the bag drop area is marked and clearly obvious. So is the surveillance camera.

That camera caught a man just milling about at noon on a Friday.

"He's standing around," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey, "you can see the employee right there, shifting thru some papers and he acted like he was on the phone."

He waited near some bushes until the employee left to get a cart, then surveillance shows the crime unfold.

"He has two sets of golf clubs, one on each shoulder," Detective Roddey said, "then he picks up his pace to see if anybody's watching."

The crook got away with $4,300 worth of golf equipment - easily sold online. He also got a wallet that one of the golfers had left in his bag.

"So he got access to the wallet and credit cards, but thank goodness the guy immediately canceled his cards," the detective said.

Police said the crook is distinctive in looks.

"Around 6' tall, sunglasses with reddish, red beard and red mustache," Detective Roddey explained.

But even more distinctive is his vehicle, with an NC State logo on the left, a Panthers sticker on the right. But he covered up his license plate.

"To cover up his tag, he used a Bed, Bath and Beyond flyer. Probably put some tape on it right before he got there," the detective said.

With those local stickers plastered on his SUV, do police believe he lives somewhere nearby? "I would think so. And that's why we're hoping we can get someone to tell us who this guy is."

There is up to $1,000 in reward money posted if you know who the thief is. Call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and you won't have to leave your name.

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