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Burglar makes off with clubs and cash in string of golf pro shop burglaries

Sheriff’s deputies following leads
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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A string of Auburn-area golf pro shops were burglarized last week, totaling more than $12,903 in stolen property and damage. Home on the Range in Newcastle and The Ridge in Auburn were broken into early Friday morning, according to Dena Erwin, spokesperson for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Turkey Creek Golf Course in Lincoln was the victim of a similar crime early Wednesday morning, she said. The suspect made off with high-end golf clubs and cash registers from Home on the Range and Turkey Creek. No property was stolen at The Ridge. Phil Green, head golf professional and owner of Home on the Range in Newcastle, said he arrived at his shop Friday morning to find a smashed window and missing golf clubs and cash register. He said the damages and stolen items total about $2,500. Green said his laptop and some other items of value, which were in plain sight, were not stolen. “It’s got to be some type of an operation where they know where to get rid of the golf clubs at,” Green speculated. “I would say about $2,500 (worth of damage and merchandise) from here, which for a small business owner is a killer.” He added that a string of golf pro shop burglaries occurs in the area about every five to seven years, so he called surrounding golf courses to warn them Friday morning when he realized what had happened. Because of the propensity for burglaries, Green said he doesn’t stock his shop with very many high-end clubs anymore, but special orders them for customers instead. At The Ridge Golf Shop, Erwin said the suspect used a pry bar to pry the door to the pro shop open. The door and two cash registers were damaged, totaling about $700. Shawn Kelly, head golf professional at The Ridge, said the suspect may have been scared off before he was able to steal anything. “There were cleaners in the building and I think he got scared off,” Kelly said. He added that the alarm system for the facility was off because the cleaners were in the building. The suspect was captured on surveillance video, but he was completely masked and clothed, he added. This is not the first string of golf shop burglaries he has seen either. “It’s happened before and it does seem like when one happens they kind of get hit at the same time,” Kelly said. “It’s not surprising.” The suspect broke into Turkey Creek’s golf shop at 1:08 a.m. He threw a rock at the window and broke it, making off with $9,703 in loot, according to Erwin. Ramon Gonzalez, head golf professional at Turkey Creek Golf Course, confirmed there was a break-in, but declined to comment further on the incident at this time. Surveillance footage was captured in the incident and deputies are investigating the burglaries, Erwin added. “They are hot on the trail,” Erwin said. “They saw the surveillance and they are following leads.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.