Golfer not allowed to retrieve his stolen clubs despite tracking exact location


Remember a couple of years ago when a retired fire marshal held a man at gunpoint over stealing his golf clubs?

Yeah that was some crazy stuff, but if the thief had gotten away the victim might have been out of luck.

Want proof? Well here’s a disheartening story from the Times Online in which a man has his golf clubs stolen and he could do nothing about it despite tracking their exact location.

According to the Times Online, a man named Tom Owen had his golf bag stolen on Dec. 15 from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point in Auckland, New Zealand. The bag included his clubs, his cell phone and golf balls, adding up to roughly $2,000 of stolen property.

The theft of the phone appeared it might be a saving grace at first, as Owen smartly tracked his phone using a GPS tracking app and pinpointed that his equipment had been taken to a nearby residence on Pigeon Mountain Road.

All good, right? Nope.

Owen reported everything to police but soon learned that the cops could take matters no further despite the exact location being tracked.

“I tracked (my stolen clubs) right to the front door of the property,” Owen told the Times Online. “I knew exactly where the golf bag was, but I’m not sure if the police have even gone to the house I tracked it to yet.

“So basically, even though you can track your phone to an exact address, it would appear the police are unable to do anything.”

Indeed, a police spokesperson essentially confirmed as much to the Times Online.

The spokesperson noted that the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 states that police “do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone.”

If an exact address can be pinpointed, as was the case here, police can knock on the door and inquire, but they are not allowed to enter the premises with permission.

So to recap … a man had his clubs and phone stolen and tracked them to an exact address. And yet, he has no means of legally retrieving them.

Yeah, we can see how that is frustrating.

Owen actually went to the address twice before contacting police – getting no answer at the door the first time. On the second occasion, a woman answered and claimed to Owen she knew nothing about the theft.

Police later told Owen he shouldn’t have made those visits.

Owen told the Times Online he’s confident his clubs are in that house, but he’s lost most hope that he’ll ever get them back.

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it,” Owen said.

The theft victim adds that maybe the law should be amended here.

“If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change,” Owen said.

Do you agree? Or are the laws correct as is?

Whatever the case, this is a tough reminder to always leave your golf clubs in the safest place possible.

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