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Criminals See Green at Golf Shops

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RALEIGH — There's a new brand of criminals out there-- people who will take great risks for not so great a gain. Those thieves are seeing green on the greens, and it's costing golf shop owners big bucks.

Last month police say two men held up a golf shop in Pinehurst. They took money and several expensive golf clubs. Because of the cost of the equipment inside, golf shops are not just attracting golfers, but also the criminal element.

"They had to throw it with a good enough force on it, right through (this) window," says an unidentified golf assistant. "When we checked it out the next morning, we had glass stretching from this door to the front entrance."

Fortunately for the Devil's Ridge Golf Shop, the people who broke the glass didn't steal anything. Some other golf shops weren't so lucky. Eight months ago, one of the Carolina Golf Group's shops were robbed. Jason Dickerson says titanium was the target:

One reason the crooks are targeting the shops is because of the cost of the clubs. For example, a set of Callaway titanium irons is about $1,400. A set of titanium woods would cost about $470 per club.

Captain Charles Young says whoever stole the clubs could sell them or get rid of them through a locally or nationally run fencing ring.

Most shops use more lighting and keep their expensive equipment out of sight. They also have alarm systems.

Golf assistants we talked to say the thefts are a sign of the times. Criminals are taking higher risks for their rewards.

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Wisdom Martin, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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