Police connect vehicle to Suffolk golf course vandalism

Suffolk police provided this surveillance picture, which shows a vehicle believed to be related to a vandalism incident at a local golf course.

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk police are trying to identify a vehicle believed to be related to extensive vandalism in the Northern End of the city early Tuesday morning.

An employee at Sleepy Hole Golf Course told WAVY.com 30 of 82 golf carts were damaged as well as the snack stand, pro shop and kitchen area. Police say the vandalism happened in the early morning hours Tuesday, and that the suspects egged vehicles in the Schooner Boulevard area afterwards.

Investigators believe multiple suspects are involved, and they are trying to figure out who was driving a light-colored Ford Explorer, possibly a 2006 or later model, nearby around the same time the vandalism occurred.

Photos: Golf course vandalized

J. T. Belcher has been the Director Of Golf for 11 years. He said this is the first time he’s seen anything like this.

“We’ve come a long ways out here redoing the golf course, redoing the building, doing a lot of upgrades to the golf course,” he said. “These carts are pretty much brand new. They’re a year old.”

Each cart has a $7,500 price tag. In all, Belcher said 20 of them are destroyed — that’s at least $150,000 in damages. On top of that, repairs must be made to the other 10 damaged carts, the club house and the cart barn.

“We found six of them on the golf course today, parked in ditches and other areas where they couldn’t go anymore,” Belcher said.

He got the call on his way to work, just before 7 a.m. Belcher got to work and started making calls to get things fixed. Workers spent most of Tuesday assessing the damage, making repairs, and clearing glass. Belcher said two carts were damaged last week. He thinks the same people came back.

“Somebdy knows the area. [There is] very little lighting around the entrance way. Once you get off these poles out there, it’s pitch black dark. You gotta know where you’re going,” Belcher said.

This vandalism couldn’t have come at a worse time. The team at Sleepy Hole was preparing for the 2nd Annual Chick-fil-A Elizabeth River Golf Classic on Friday. Crews are doing everything they can to make sure this weekend’s tournament tees off. They expect most repairs to be complete by Wednesday.

There was no damage to the golf course itself or the Historic Obici House that was once owned by the founder of the Planters Peanut Company. The course initially had to close, due to the vandalism, but reopened for play at 1 p.m.

Nearby, several vehicles were egged, including a Suffolk police cruiser. A man who had his car egged told WAVY.com surveillance video captured a silver or white Ford Explorer near the area.

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