Golf Cars In The News

Fairway Felon

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Matthew M. Payne, accused of serial golf car thefts from the Decatur Country Club, is set to be arraigned.

Matthew M. Payne, a 25-year-old Decatur resident accused of being a serial golf car thief, is scheduled for arraignment in Macon County Circuit Court. The allegations stem from a series of burglaries at the Decatur Country Club, located at 135 N. Country Club Road, unfolding over the summer and into September.

According to a sworn affidavit from Decatur police, Payne is accused of launching repeated burglary raids on the country club, targeting not only golf cars but also miscellaneous items like drinks and a cooler. The crime spree dates back to July and continued until the night of September 10, when the property manager, Bradley Tucker, alerted police to a suspect, known to him, caught on surveillance cameras stealing yet another golf car.

Officer Eleodoro Roman, who signed the affidavit, stated, “Bradley stated this has been an ongoing occurrence all summer,” revealing a pattern of similar calls and descriptions of the suspect’s modus operandi in the call history.

On the night of the final incident, officers conducted a search of the country club golf course and found the stolen car abandoned near the 400 block of South 44th Street. Payne was discovered nearby in a sport utility vehicle, and a street show-up was conducted where Bradley positively identified him as the suspect caught on surveillance stealing items from a fridge.

Payne, who remains free on $3,000 bail since his arrest on September 11, has yet to enter formal pleas on two charges of burglary and an additional count of theft. His release conditions include staying away from the Decatur Country Club.

As the arraignment date approaches, the community awaits legal proceedings to unfold, shedding light on the details of the alleged golf car crime spree and the subsequent arrest of Matthew M. Payne.