Tennessee Tech Police recovered a golf cart that was stolen from Tech Village twice in one week.
On the morning of Sept. 20, Officer Jeffrey Bulakowski was patrolling around the dorms on the west side of campus when he noticed a fully enclosed Club Car golf cart that had been taken from an apartment at Tech Village. According to the police report, Bulakowski found the cart with the driver’s side door open and left turn signal on with no key in the ignition. Bulakowski also noticed the cart had been vandalized and said there were shoe prints on the back storage compartment and a cracked area on the front passenger side windshield. He said the roof had been pushed down and the driver’s side door hinge was not secure.
“I was familiar with the vehicle because a student with a disability drives one,” said Bulakowski. “It is usually parked by a Tech Village apartment.”
According to reports, Bulakowski found paperwork in the glove compartment identifying the owner of the vehicle as a student who lives in Tech Village. He then sent Sgt. Robert Kincaid to knock on the owner’s door, and also asked TTU dispatch to call the owner. Neither attempt was immediately successful in reaching the owner of the vehicle. Bulakowski was able to put the door hinge back in place in order to move the vehicle. The report also noted that he pushed the roof back into place to prevent it from warping anymore.
Around noon that day, contact was made with the owner and Sgt. Bobby Hunter met with the owner and the owner’s parents to let them retrieve the golf cart. The owner didn’t tell police that anything was missing from the vehicle. According to campus police, the golf cart seemed to be running fine when the owner drove away in it.
The decision was made to do extra patrolling around Tech Village for the next few days as a precaution, according to campus police.
Around 3:30 a.m., on Sept. 22, Lt. Sandy Thompson was patrolling near Tech Village and noticed the golf cart was missing from the breezeway where it is usually parked. Thompson checked with other officers in an attempt to pinpoint a time when the vehicle was removed, according to reports.
“I checked with Sgt. Kincaid and Officer Bulakowski,” said Thompson. “Sgt. Kincaid checked and it was there at (around 1:30 a.m.). Officer Bulakowski advised he had checked it within the past hour and it was there then as well.”
Thompson then spoke with the owner of the vehicle who said it was still there when he went to bed at around midnight that night, according to reports.
Later on, Bulakowski said he spoke with an individual who said he saw the golf cart on Sept. 20, the first night the vehicle was stolen. According to reports, the individual said he saw two people hit a vehicle with the golf cart. He said they then abandoned the golf cart and ran toward Browning and Evins Halls.
According to reports, campus police took the information to the Cookeville Police Department to have the vehicle entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
A spokesperson for campus police said the golf cart was located again on the evening of Sept. 24, but no further information could be released. The investigation is still ongoing.