Bristol police are investigating several incidents of burglary, vandalism, and golf cart theft at several area golf courses.
There have been incidents at Chippanee Golf Club on Marsh Road in Bristol, Westwoods Golf Course on CT-177 in Farmington, and Pequabuck Golf Club on School Street in Terryville, police said.
"Obviously they knew what they were doing to be able to do this. These carts don't have keys in them," Chippanee Country Club Assistant Golf Professional Jim Hathaway said.
Chippanee Golf Club has seen the brunt of the damage and the country club has been targeting four different times. They've had a total of 11 golf cart stolen and all but two of them have been recovered, according to club.
"It is unbelievably frustrating. We have a great place here," Chippanee Country Club president and general manager Juan Rodriguez said.
Management said the damage on the recovered golf carts is so significant, that it looks like someone used them as bumper cars.
"They were totally trashed. Front end missing on them. These carts had roofs on them. One has no roof, no panels on it, barely has a seat and a steering wheel. The damage done to them is significant," Hathaway said.
Bristol police said the thieves have become more brazen each time and that all the crimes are likely connected.
Chippanee management said they've tried to thwart the thieves, but so far it's not working.
"We decided to lock them down in our pool area which is fenced in, had a chain and a padlock on it. They came in with bolt cutters, chopped the lock off, took the lock with them, and off they went," Hathaway said.
The latest and costliest theft for Chippanee took place last week. The thieves broke into one of the buildings holding two new golf carts worth a total of $14,000 by breaking through the outside vent and crawling inside, management said.
The thieves also left crude messages on the ground using sand.
In total, Rodriguez said the cost could be as much as $35,000. It's a crime the country club said they've never had to deal with before and they hope it comes to a stop.
"All we can do is ask our neighbors if you see something out there, give police a call," Hathaway said.
Management said they've already added additional security cameras and stronger locks, as well as, other security measures.
Police are still trying to locate several golf carts that remain missing. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should contact Detective Kevin Ward at (860) 314-4569 or (860) 845-3782.