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Teens arrested for crime spree at Yosemite Lakes Park Golf Course

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three teenagers are under arrest after going on a crime spree and breaking into the cart barn at a foothill golf course.

The teens are 14 and 16 years old and over the weekend deputies say they not only tore up a golf course and damaged golf carts, they tried to burn the evidence. That didn't work and their mistake led detectives right to their doorsteps last night.

Steve Rettig's golf cart no longer has a roof and part of the window is gone too. The front suspension is shot, the front hood is smashed and a tire and rim are ruined.

Rettig said, "It's pretty well trashed, I still haven't found out exactly all that's wrong with it, it will probably take some professional to look at it to really find out for sure, but obviously several things are broken."

Two other golf carts are also damaged, one of them is still missing, after deputies and golf members say three teens broke into the cart barn at Yosemite Lakes Park Golf Course and committed one crime after another.

Roger Hoff said, "The kids took the carts, went onto the golf course, ran them all over the course including the putting greens, up the mountains, used them as if they were a utility vehicle, and you can see their tracks all over the golf course."

Investigators say a 14 year old and two 16 year olds ripped the security cameras down, but not before they were already on tape. Even though deputies say the group set the cameras on fire down the street, it didn't matter, their faces were already recorded onto a computer.

Erica Stuart with the Madera County Sheriff's Department said, "While they managed to steal the cameras, they didn't manage to demolish the video so the video was there, captured all three committing the crime."

The cameras were burned a short distance away but deputies say the fire didn't conceal the crime, it just added to the felony charges they are now facing.

Course managers say the teens broke into the cart barn through a side door and rammed the main garage door with golf carts until the hinges broke and it opened.

For at least one victim, who is still adding up damages, there's only one good thing to come out of all these, fast arrests.

Rettig explained, "I understand that they are apprehended which we are quite happy about that, so maybe we can put an end to all this."

The damages to the golf course are about $3,000.00, which does not include the golf carts, which is several thousand dollars more.

Investigators plan to recommend charges of felony vandalism, burglary and arson.

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