SURFSIDE BEACH (WBTW) – Surfside Beach has seen a recent rash of golf cart thefts, at least seven in the past two weeks alone.
The thieves have been targeting beach access points during daylight hours, as victims leave the carts unattended to go out and enjoy the ocean.
“We’re mainly seeing this at the beach accesses where its just golf cart parking, there’s less just less volume and less traffic through there,” said Lt. Kenneth Hofmann with the Surfside Police Department.
He says that creates more opportunities for thieves, especially when potential victims don’t take the necessary precautions “unforuntately were finding some folks are not securing there golf carts, not taking that extra step to lock and secure their carts, and those are the folks most likely to be victimized.”
There are ways to protect your property, first remember that a standard golf cart key may be able to fit the stock ignition and start multiple golf carts of the same model.
Hofmann recommends putting some kind of extra locking system, whether it be a wheel lock or steering wheel lock. You can also look at changing the key system on it.
That’s the number one piece of advice service manager Tim Paxton gives customers at Graham’s Golf Cars.
“When you get a new golf cart, change and put a personal key switch on it,” said Paxton.
Paxton says the new switches range from $25 to $75 depending on the model of the cart, but a little money now can save you from a bigger bill down the line.
“If you do not do some kind of protection, you leave yourself open to be the victim. A lot of people are preying on the fact that there are so many of them and its hard to distingish between them all,” he said.
Golf carts do have serial numbers that can be traced, but authorities say that doesn’t mean your cart is protected.
According to Lt. Hofmann, “don’t think that just because you have those records thats going to help law enforcement track down the cart. Sometimes these carts can be stolen and then parted out to other areas.”
Police say there are surviellance cameras at some of these beach accesses and they’re monitoring those as part of their investigation.
If you see any suspicious activity at a beach access, like someone lingering or moving from golf cart to golf cart, your asked to call Surfside Beach Police at 913-6368.