Tuesday May 29, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A Memorial Day joy ride on allegedly stolen country club golf carts resulted in five arrests early Monday morning.

Katherine Miller of Dalton, Mitchell Harris of Hinsdale, Casey Daby and Anthony Bush ika of Pittsfield, and Ryan Mur phy of Richmond, all reportedly in their 20s, will be arraigned on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court.

Each person faces a felony charge of breaking and entering in the nighttime, as well as six counts each of larceny over $250 in value (golf carts), and six counts each of vandalism.

Pittsfield Police received a phone call around 3:48 a.m. on Monday reporting that several golf carts had been seen driving erraticaly on South Mountain Road, heading towards Wild Acres park and preserve, according to a police report.

Police officers arrived at the scene and searched the immediate area, but found nothing.

Meanwhile, Officer Gary Herland was investigating the Country Club of Pittsfield -- the closest golf course to the reported scene -- and discovered two empty vehicles on the property, which he deemed suspicious.

The country club owner was immediately notified and asked to come and check for stolen property.

While police were waiting for a key holder to arrive, a golf utility vehicle with several people in it drove onto the area, and police activated cruiser lights to bring the vehicle to a halt.

One man ran from the vehicle but was later apprehended. Four others were detained on the spot. It was discovered that none of the five individuals were employees of the country club.

Once the key holder arrived, the employee found that forced entry had been made into a maintenance shed, and six golf carts were missing.

The five individuals were arrested on the scene.

During futher investigation and questioning, it was discovered that three of the vehicles had been taken up the mountain of Bousquet Ski Area on Dan Fox Drive.

Herland and Sgt. Michael Maddalena took off-road dirt bikes up the mountain and were assisted by Bousquet staff on snowcat vehicles to recover the golf carts.

"Bousquet was really amazing with their help," Maddalena said. "They didn’t have to get involved, but they did."

He said the vehicles were recovered on steep terrain, and that two of three carts sustained heavy damage. One was found in a creek and one apparently hit a tree.

Country club staff arrived at the mountain to reclaim the vehicles, each valued at between $9,000 and $10,000.