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Golf Cart Theft, a Crime of Opportunity

Most golf cart thefts are crimes of opportunity, therefore, if a person leaves their keys in the ignition there is a greater likelihood of their golf cart being stolen.

On January 2, 2014, we arrested a local juvenile for the theft and vandalism of an Avalon resident's golf cart. On January 9, 2014, we arrested two additional suspects for their involvement in the crimes.

Avalon Sheriff's Station takes great pride in helping to keep Avalon as one of the safest cities in Los Angeles County. One particular crime, which we will be focusing on this year is the theft of golf carts. Apparently, the problem has been on-going for many years and it's time that additional steps are taken to impact the problem. Last year, Avalon Station took seventeen reports of stolen golf carts; a number which I consider unacceptable for such a great community.

The theft of another person's golf cart is a felony and warrants the appropriate attention. Once a person drives away in another person's golf cart, without their permission, or is a passenger in a stolen golf cart, they have committed a felony even if the golf cart is only taken for a short distance or period of time. The stealing of someone else's property is beyond an act of disrespect, it is a crime which can result in imprisonment. In most cases, the crime is considered, "Joyriding," which may imply it's fun, but we take these crimes very seriously. We will do our best to assist the victim in the getting their golf cart back and with the identification and prosecution of the suspect(s).

We have taken recent steps to better track the thefts of golf carts in Avalon and adjusted our resources to reduce these crimes. We have also implemented an immediate notification system to numerous people in the community to assist us in identifying the people who are stealing the golf carts. As with any type of criminal behavior, we need the public's help and encourage members of the community to report crime to us, so we can effectively and efficiently impact the problem. Remember, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's crime prevention motto is, "If you see something, say something."

Most golf cart thefts are crimes of opportunity, therefore, if a person leaves their keys in the ignition there is a greater likelihood of their golf cart being stolen. If a person takes the added step of installing a single key ignition or purchases a cable and a lock to secure the steering wheel or uses any type of anti-theft device, it will greatly reduce the chance of their golf cart being stolen.

So far this year, we have only received one report of a stolen golf cart and that golf cart was recovered within the hour. No one has been arrested for that crime, but the investigation is on-going. Anyone with information regarding any type of crime is encouraged to contact Avalon Sheriff's Station directly at 310-510-0174 or they can report crime anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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