Butler County Times Gazette
  • Equipment stolen from Country Club

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  • Brand new flag poles around the Augusta Country Club golf course were stolen sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. Friday morning, May 10.
    Jill Keazer of the Country Club said that the value of the flags and poles are about $1,000, roughly $110 for each of the nine flags and poles.
    Fresh footprints were found across the course early that morning. The tracks seemed to indicate the trespassers were people who had extensive knowledge of the course.
    "We know it was somebody that has been coming out on our golf course. How else would they know where all the stuff is at?" Keazer said.
    For now, the old flags are being used in place of the new ones, which were bought only six weeks ago.
    Flag poles are left out at night because paying someone to collect them every night is an unnecessary expense. Golfers come out as early as 6 in the morning anyway, and they need the poles out there.
    "It's our land. We shouldn't have to pick them up," said David Horenkamp, a longtime club member.
    The poles aren't the only items getting stolen. Kids with duffel bags or buckets have been spotted while trying to steal golf balls from the range several times within the past few weeks, despite Private Property warning signs posted around the course.
    "I've had people steal the golf balls, come in here and try to sell them to me," Keazer said.
    Horenkamp said he caught kids stealing golf balls recently and made them dump them out of their bags.
    "This is becoming almost an epidemic," said Horenkamp.
    Jake McClure, and on-and-off member of the Country Club for most of his life, said he had an altercation with some kids he spotted one day recently carrying buckets to what he described was a maroon Chevy Envoy that was waiting for them.
    "We confronted them, and it got pretty heated," McClure said.
    McClure said he didn't see where the golf balls were placed, but he did notice they were missing from the driving range.
    "Once we got back on the driving range, the whole south part of the range was picked clean," McClure said.
    A report for the stolen flag poles has been filed with the police, but there are no leads. Keazer said no believes the theory of this being a senior prank is likely.
    Anyone who has any information or tips on these events is encouraged to contact the Country Club or the police.

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