Man, woman accused of stealing clubs from Valley golf coursesPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said they’ve arrested a man and woman who were allegedly stealing golf clubs from multiple Valley golf courses.
Police said in January they began investigating the theft of high-dollar clubs from several courses.
In one instance, a golfer at Orange Tree Golf Resort was able to get the license plate number of the suspect vehicle as it drove away with the golfer’s clubs.
According to authorities, the license plate number led investigators to Gregory Smithwick and his Chevrolet pickup.
Officers monitored Smithwick from early February until March 5. During that time they observed Smithwick and a woman named Abigail Johnson traveling to golf courses at all hours of the day.
On March 5, police said Smithwick and Johnson drove to the Tatum Ranch Golf Club and parked near the club drop-off area. They then left after about five minutes.
Police said they spoke with staff at the course and learned that nothing had been reported missing.
Later that day, Smithwick and Johnson reportedly went to the Pinnacle Peak Country Club where they once again parked near the club drop-off area.
Police said Smithwick, who was wearing typical golf attire, grabbed two sets of clubs from the drop-off area, placed them in the cab of his truck, and then drove away.
Police followed Smithwick and Johnson to the area of N. 45th Place and Adobe Drive were they stopped their vehicle and placed them under arrest.
Following further investigation, police learned that Smithwick and Johnson would steal golf clubs and sell them to another individual, who would then sell them online.
Police said they were able to locate two additional sets of stolen golf clubs, and returned all the clubs to their rightful owners.
Phoenix police reminds everyone to always make sure an employee is present when you drop off your clubs at the course.
They also advise golfers to never leave their wallet or credit cards in their bags.