Golf cart theft is on the rise.
It’s not isolated to one area of the desert but spans the entire Coachella Valley.
“It can happen in an instant. Just because you put on one lock or you take the key out, these guys can work around it in seconds.”
This Palm Desert resident wanted to stay anonymous, but wanted to share his story as a warning to others.
“We decided to upgrade our golf cart, and we bought a very much newer, beautiful, custom cart with custom seats and wheels and everything just for cruising around inside the country club. We made sure that we secured it with a very heavy duty chain and locks. We thought we were okay since we’re inside a secured community.”
But that wasn’t the case.
“We had some friends staying there. We received a phone call in the morning that they were laying in bed at about three o’clock in the morning and they heard the distinct backup alarm of the golf cart being backed out of the driveway.”
And just like that, their $10,000 golf cart was gone.
So they started looking for a new, more simple cart.
“We went to five or six shops in the area. At the last one we went to, we walked in and in the showroom, we actually saw a cart that was identical to ours and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s that’s our cart.’”
And, it was.
But after calling the Riverside County Sheriff for help, officers ran into a problem.
“The company had no paperwork on it, no serial numbers, everybody that was in contact with us said we’re pretty sure that it’s your cart and we have no doubt that it isn’t. But there’s really nothing we can do because there’s no serial numbers.”
And they’re not alone.
Six carts were stolen from that same community within two weeks.
Three of them were on the same night.
A woman from a neighboring community also reached out with a similar story saying she was able to locate her stolen cart only to have it stolen again that same night.
But there are ways you can make sure your cart is safe.
“Since then we’ve just covered the car in hidden areas, and we’ve engraved my driver’s license number into it so if they find it, it’ll come back to my driver’s license, and they’ll contact me. We’ve got every lock known possible. We have steering wheel locks, wheel boots, security motion lights, and an alarm. Hopefully with the conjunction of the security guard patrols that they have there, it will hopefully stay safe for a while.”
Along with his tips, here are more ways to keep your golf cart safe:
- Since golf cart ignitions have four to five universal keys, install a kill switch
- Engrave your driver’s license number in multiple hidden places on the frame
- Tire boots
- Locking wheel lug nuts
- Steering wheel lock
- Purchase an alarm
- Install a motion detector
- Install a Wi-Fi camera
- Take the seats out while not in use to make it uncomfortable to take and to make it obvious that the cart is stolen