UPDATE: Man sentenced after stealing 60+ golf carts in several states, including ND
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -
UPDATE 4/12/22: A Florida man linked to dozens of motorized golf cart thefts in the Upper Midwest was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison.
The FBI began investigating Nathan Rodney Nelson in July 2019 after the Cass County Sheriff’s Office in Fargo, North Dakota, asked for help in solving a series of golf cart thefts starting in 2017 in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Nelson, a former Minnesota resident living in Apollo Beach, Florida, was eventually arrested in June 2020 while he was caught trying to steal golf carts from a dealer in Donalsonville, Georgia. He also was carrying pre-printed serial number labels and burglary tools, according to court documents.
Investigators say he stole at least 63 golf carts in seven states, worth at least $283,500.
Nelson would typically steal carts in pairs from rural Midwestern golf courses, usually at night. He sold many of the carts under the alias Mason Weber, at a cost of about $2,500 each, court documents show.
Defense attorney Lorelle Moeckel said in a sentencing memorandum that her client was not able to keep his business going and pay his bills. He came up with the idea to steal golf carts to solve his financial problems and “from there it became easier and easier for him to stray from his long held moral compass.”
Nelson pleaded guilty in December to interstate transportation of stolen property. His sentencing calls for him to serve three years of supervised release and pay back about $14,000.
ORIGINAL STORY 6/21/21: A man has been arrested in Georgia in connection to a string of golf cart thefts in several states including North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Federal court documents say 45-year-old Nathan Rodney Nelson is linked to 63 golf cart thefts in seven states since 2017. Nelson is federally charged with transportation of stolen vehicles across state lines.
Court documents say the investigation began in July 2019 when the Cass County Sheriff’s Office asked the FBI to help investigate a series of thefts of at least 70 golf carts from courses in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Investigators from across the upper Midwest stated they noticed the golf carts were typically stolen at night, while in pairs at rural, Midwestern golf courses. Documents say the stolen carts would be driven to a getaway car that would be waiting nearby.
Some of the golf courses hit were Maple River Golf Course in Mapleton, Apple Creek Country Club in Bismarck, Hillcrest Golf Club in Jamestown and All Season Motorsports in West Fargo,
The FBI says the value of the stolen golf carts is more than $283,000.
Investigators also say Nelson used the alias ‘Mason Weber’ to rent storage units to store the stolen golf carts in several states.
Nelson was arrested in Georgia on June 11 when officials say he was trying to steal golf carts from a local shop while carrying pre-printed serial numbers, golf cart keys and burglary tools.
The FBI is asking for the public’s help in locating people who may have purchased a stolen golf cart from Nelson. You can call the FBI’s Fargo office at 701-232-7241.
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