CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff’s office arrested a man caught in the act of stealing a large granite tee marker from the 18th hole at the now closed Kings Island Golf Club Monday night. The marker had the course name, hole number and a photo of the 18th hole on it. Arrested and charged with Grand Theft was Sean Michael Crouse, 28, North Port.
CCSO received a call at 7:36 p.m. from a man reporting a suspicious pickup parked in front of an empty lot by his home. He said he saw a man get out of the pickup and entered the former Kings Island Golf Club at 175 Kings Highway in Port Charlotte. A K9 deputy responded and located the red 1999 Ford Ranger pickup. He saw Crouse struggling with and pulling a hand truck loaded with the 18th hole granite tee marker. Crouse said he had permission to take the marker but a check with the property manager said no one had permission to remove the marker. Value of the marker was set at $1,800.
Detectives arrived and collected several items found at the marker removal site. Taken into evidence was a shovel, hatchet, hammer and a sledge hammer. The marker was released back to the property manager. Because a felony was committed in connection with the crime, CCSO detectives seized the pickup for possible forfeiture. Crouse was transported to the Charlotte County Jail; he posted a $2,500 bond and was released.