Grand theft golf cart: Another niche on the black market

Prosecutors have charged a man suspected of selling seven golf carts stolen from a Marysville course.

MARYSVILLE — One golf cart wasn’t enough.

Last summer, someone stole seven golf carts from Cedarcrest Golf Course in Marysville, on three separate nights within a month. Together, the carts were valued at more than $20,000.

In December, a Snohomish-area man, 33, was charged with first-degree trafficking in stolen property in Snohomish County Superior Court. He’s accused of trying to sell the swiped carts.

In July, someone cut the chain lock to a fence and stole two 2014 Yamaha golf carts. The person apparently tried to steal a third, but left it behind, charging papers say.

An employee said someone took another cart the week before.

A Marysville officer had a camera installed to try and catch the perpetrator. But in the early morning of Aug. 2, the burglar apparently cut the electrical cord and took three more carts, prosecutors say.

Detectives went to Craigslist, a site for classified ads. There, they found someone who had posted an advertisement looking to buy golf carts. The poster told the detectives he bought three for $3,300 on the morning of Aug. 2.

The buyer also took pictures of the Ford F-150 pickup truck and trailer that the seller was driving. The truck’s license plate was visible. The trailer’s wasn’t, but it had unique parts, such as a blue hitch.

The detectives looked up the license plate number and found an address for a house outside of Arlington. No one was home when they showed up. There was a trailer with a blue hitch sitting outside. There also was an ATV that turned out to be stolen from the Snohomish Golf Course, documents say.

Soon, a man drove down the driveway in a white Ford F-150, like the one in the buyer’s photos.

The man told the detectives that he had taken part in all three thefts at Cedarcrest Golf Course, according to court papers. He said he had an accomplice, too.

He said he would wait down the road while his accomplice broke into the golf course, according to documents. The defendant said he would then help load the vehicles onto the truck and take them to buyers.

Four carts are still missing, Marysville police said Wednesday.

The defendant has been accused of a similar theft in the past. He allegedly stole two carts from Pacific Golf and Turf in Snohomish in October 2017. Several witnesses said they saw him cutting a padlock on a gate and getting into one of the vehicles. Police learned that he had loaded them onto a truck, according to documents.

Like the more recent burglaries, the man claimed he had a partner helping him carry out the crime. But police couldn’t find any evidence indicating a second party was involved. He is charged with second-degree theft and second-degree burglary in that case.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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