Golf Cart Thefts
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Preventing Golf Cart Theft

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Because of recent reports posted on nextdoor, the blog where residents from all over The Villages can post, I am reposting a previous article from the website on on things we can do to keep our golf carts secure. First, do not leave anything of value in your golf cart, locked or not. That includes removing your golf clubs before going anywhere where you will be parking your cart. A few years ago there was a rash of golf club thefts while people were inside eating or at happy hour. It could happen again.

There are some things you can put on your golf cart that will make it harder to steal.

  1. Have a unique key for your cart. Unlike automobile manufacturers, golf cart manufacturers or customizers usually provide a generic key unless you specify a unique key, usually for an additional cost. The problem with generic keys & locks is that any key from the same manufacturer can unlock any other cart by that same manufacturer. (That is also how someone inadvertently drives off in a similar cart that isn't their own.) A local golf cart repair shop can install a custom key for you so that you will be the only one who has access to your particular cart.
  2. Install a hidden kill switch, which prevents the golf cart from starting even when it is hot-wired. It should be placed where a thief can't see it and where the thief can't readily see how you engage it. Additionally, there are many hidden locations on a cart where the switch can be installed. This is a deterrent that will only work if you have it set up properly and you engage it before leaving your cart unattended.
  3. Add a GPS unit. Anti-theft mechanisms are not foolproof and carts can still be stolen despite your best efforts. Consider installing a GPS on your cart so that if it is stolen, local law enforcement officials can quickly track your cart down. GPS units can also be attached to a system that is on your smart phone which the person stealing the cart won't be able to see. If they take the cart and start driving away, you will be able to track the cart’s location with your phone.
  4. A steering wheel lock for a golf cart is similar to a steering wheel lock for a car. The additional time and effort required to steal your cart is a deterrent, not to mention that being unable to steer doesn't make it easy for them either. The lock will require a key to release it, and that key should not be kept anywhere near the golf cart. You will have to keep it with the cart at all times and use it, even if you're just going to be gone a few minutes.
  5. A pedal lock will work the same way a steering wheel lock works, but it will keep the pedal from moving or allowing the cart to engage and start to move. This won’t help your cart from getting towed away, but it certainly helps to prevent a quick and easy theft of a cart. Pedal locks have a key on them, so you will have to carry the key with you when you park your cart and move away from it.

You may want to add more than one deterrent to slow thieves even more, drawing more attention to them as bystanders realize what they are doing. Most important, any deterrent is only effective if you actually use it.

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