EDINBURGH, Ind - Edinburgh detectives are on the search for a group of thieves who have recently been targeting a popular municipal golf course.
In the last few weeks, the parking lot of Timbergate Golf Course has been targeted by “smash-and-grab” thieves. All three of the incidents occurred during organized golf outings. General Manager Wayne Gibbs thinks the timing is no accident.
“During outings, the golfers are all out on the course at the same time,” Gibbs said. “Not many people out in the parking lot.”
The worst incident happened last Friday when eight vehicles were broken into between 12:30 and 1 p.m.
“They’re in the parking lot for about a half hour, and break into the eight cars unseen, and get away with several valuables,” said Edinburgh Police Detective David Lutz. “They smash the windows, and they’re using a center punch to do that with.”
Lutz said the thieves made off with laptops, a wallet, a purse and a watch.
“This one guy had his whole business in a briefcase,” Lutz said. “They stole everything.”
Security video from the golf course doesn’t give a good look at the suspects. It shows what is believed to be a suspect vehicle-- a gray extended SUV circling the parking lot as the thieves break into cars just off the edge of the screen. On Saturday, the video captured a white Dodge pickup truck circling the lot in the same manner. Police think an employee approaching the parking lot scared the thieves off before they were able to break into any cars Saturday.
But the suspects left clear evidence behind. Employees and police found side handprints and a nose print on the windshield of one of the vehicles in the lot, apparently left by a suspect who had been looking for valuables inside the car.
Minutes after the attempt on Saturday, Lutz believes the same suspects in the white pickup broke into a car outside the Cracker Barrel at the Edinburgh Premium Outlet Mall.
Gibbs said extra security measures are now being taken at the golf course. He and his coworkers are highly frustrated with the recent incidents.
“It’s our customers, and we never want to see any harm come to our customers or vehicles or property, anything,” Gibbs said. “So yeah, very frustrated.”
In an ironic twist, Friday’s golf outing was sponsored by the Jeremy Witkemper Memorial Foundation, which raises money to fight substance abuse. Lutz noted that most vehicle break-ins are committed by addicts hoping to sell stolen items to buy drugs.
Police are also looking for a young man who was caught on surveillance camera stealing an electronic SkyCaddie watch from the pro shop at Timbergate on May 21. The white male in is 20s or 30s was seen wearing a gray Michigan University t-shirt and a gray or dark blue ball cap. It’s not known if the man is connected to the parking lot thefts.
Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call Detective Lutz at 812-526-3501, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org