Tracking devices will be installed on Utah Tech golf carts because of recent theft

Brynlee Wade | Sun News Daily

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Thieves around the campus of Utah Tech University are swingin’ their way toward a third-degree felony charge. 

Since the start of 2023, five golf carts have been stolen from the campus of Utah Tech only to be recovered several days later. 

“On March 15th, I was made aware that we had university golf carts stolen,” said Nathan Eaton, director of facilities services. “Two of those carts were found that same day in a vacant lot, and the others were found a few blocks away within the next week.” 

Each golf cart was stolen from various locations across campus because they were left unattended, out in the open and easily accessible. The suspects are believed to have defeated the key mechanisms which allow the carts to be switched on and driven without a key.

University Safety & Risk Management have proposed locks be provided for each golf cart on campus,” said Chief of Police Ron Bridge. “ When used correctly, these locks will keep the steering column from rotating.”

Bridge added that these devices should be handed out in the coming weeks. 

Utah Tech Facilities Management will also be installing tracking devices on all university-owned golf carts in an effort to prevent them from being stolen. 

On average, a new golf cart can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $14,000. The theft of a golf cart is also considered a third-degree motor felony in Utah and is punishable with up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. 

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence and publicly outline the policies, and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety. 

Bridge said these thefts are reflected on the Utah Tech Clery crime statistics for the year and affect them in a negative way.

Utah Tech facilities management asked students, faculty and staff to:

  1. Report any suspicious or criminal behavior
  2. Never leave your key in a parked golf cart 
  3. Secure any unattended golf carts with an anti-theft device
  4. Secure any golf carts at night with an anti-theft device and in an area with security camera coverage

Bridge said each case is still under investigation and no suspects have been identified. 
If you see any suspicious or criminal behavior, report it to the Utah Tech Police Department in the northeast corner of the M. Anthony Burns Arena or call 435-627-4300.