MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI) – When it comes to the game of golf, most players are accustomed to losing the occasional ball. But not 42,000 in a year.
“That almost put us out of business because you need golf balls to operate,” says Carol Boggs, the owner of Golfport Driving Range
The driving range in Maryland Heights has been dealing with drama by the dozens. In November 2013, someone made off with thousands of range balls in the middle of the night. Then around August 14th of this year, the golf bandit struck again.
“We couldn’t imagine that anybody could come in here and pick up that many golf balls without somebody recognizing that there’s somebody out there picking golf balls,” says Boggs.
It was thousands of range balls stamped with Golfport's “two dogs” logo.
“We pay extra to have logos put on a golf ball and we get a different logo every year so that we can know which year these golf balls came from,” says Boggs.
The two dogs are Tee-Shot and Backspin, the lovable Labrador mascots at Golfport.
This October, in the middle of the night, authorities say the bogey-man struck for the third time. Police, working on a tip, linked the crimes together
“They decided that they’d go down and investigate and sure enough they found our golf balls,” says Boggs. “Not all of them but some of them.”
According to Maryland Heights police, 27-year old Nathan Brown admitted stealing the balls on all three occasions. More than $20,000 worth of balls were stolen, but only 2,000 recovered.