New Berkeley Crime Fad: Stealing Golf Carts

Missing golf cart (Tony Bernard / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Tony Bernard / Flickr / CC / Cropped

Golf cart thefts are the latest fad on the campus of the University of California Berkeley.

Six carts have been stolen since November 14, prompting police to remind the cart’s drivers to remove their keys from the ignition.

“Golf cart theft is motor vehicle theft and it is a felony even if the cart is only taken for a short distance or period of time,” police said in a statement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The East Bay Times notes that five of the six carts belong to the Cal Athletic Department and that several of them were taken this past Saturday when Berkeley was hosting Stanford in the Big Game football contest.

The carts have primarily been stolen near Haas Pavilion and the Moffitt Library on the UC Berkeley campus.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the cart’s keepers have been advised by the UC Berkeley Police Department to “always secure your vehicle, even if parking for brief periods” to ward off what officials call “crimes of opportunity.”

Golf cart drivers are also encouraged to use chains, steering wheel locks or keypad locks for the carts while they are parked to further deter thefts.

The East Bay Times notes that four of six stolen carts — valued between $3,000 and $8,000 — have been recovered.

No arrests have been made.

Last year, an independent bike registry — Bike Index — was launched in Berkeley with the aim to “make bike theft a little less convenient” in the town.

Berkeley police said an estimated 314 bikes were stolen in the first half of 2015.

Bike Index was started by former bike mechanic Seth Herr in Chicago. It allows users to register their bike’s serial numbers free of charge into an open source database to help anyone track whether the wheels they wish to purchase online are stolen goods – and to reunite cyclists with their stolen bikes.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz


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