If you’ve ever been concerned for a minute about the safety of your clubs when you leave them unattended at your favourite country club, then you’ll appreciate this bit of news. Well, perhaps not appreciate so much as feel justified. A couple of British men did exactly what you may have feared on more than one occasion.
Two thieves in England got away with pinching golf clubs and players valuables right out of the members’ lockers at thirty six different country clubs across the UK. Joe McCaughey, 26, from Croydon, England, and Daniel Lloyd, 43 of Keston, looked as though they could have been any one of the members on the course when they slipped in to snatch the goods from more than a thousand lockers. Dressed in club approved attire, they simply walked into the locker rooms and took what they wanted with damages amounting to over a $1 million.
The duo invested four years into their ongoing scheme before they were finally caught and convicted following a trial lasting three weeks at the Birmingham Crown Court with McCaughey being sentenced to three years in prison and Lloyd slated to serve five years. The pair was responsible for theft at 36 golf clubs in seventeen counties in the country including Faversham Golf Club and Belmont Park.
If it was not for Lloyd’s association with a corrupt defence attorney, they may have continued unnoticed for even more time. In context of the investigation on the lawyer, they searched Lloyd’s home, discovering an internet history that was focused on lock picking, locker security and golf and equipment related searches. BBC’s Crimewatch had brought the thefts to the public’s attention some time earlier and did not have any leads until this point.
The men would simply appear at the clubs appearing as any other golfer might and would walk freely into the change rooms where they would await an opportunity to pick the locks on the lockers and help themselves to anything they might find there including jewellery such as watches, clothing and full sets of golf clubs. As “golfers”, it was not unusual to see them return on multiple occasions to the same clubs and because they had a familiarity with the environments, they were careful to avoid being captured on the cameras and to use false license plates on their vehicles to escape identification.
Investigations were conducted by the NSA in collaboration with the numerous golf courses that had been impacted as well as with police to uncover the necessary evidence to charge and convict Lloyd and McCaughey. The million dollars’ worth of stolen goods had already been disposed of in the UK and to other countries and the current portion of the case is working to strip them of their current assets. Lloyd had no tax records to substantiate his claim of business income and he owned a luxury home along with many luxury cars, including a Range Rover and a Bentley.
The investigation could only provide sufficient evidence for 36 of the robberies although the pair is thought to be guilty of many more than that.