By LOIS KINDLE
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Sun City Center Security Patrol have partnered to provide a free service to Sun City Center and Kings Point residents. On Jan. 18, they will register your golf cart anytime between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide a quick safety inspection at the Security Patrol Car Park, 1225 Pebble Beach Blvd. N.
If you’ve bought a new or used golf cart during the past two years, have never registered yours with the Sun City Center Security Patrol or have moved since you last registered your cart, this event is for you.
Having your contact and cart information on file enables law enforcement to return yours if and when it’s found, said Jeff Merry, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office community resource deputy.
Although few golf carts are actually stolen in Sun City Center or Kings Point, some are taken by mistake from area parking lots (due to their universal appearance and keys). More often, they’re taken for joy rides, then dumped somewhere after they run out of gas or electricity.
“If a golf cart that’s registered is taken for a joy ride and abandoned, law enforcement can easily return it to its owner,” said Chief Tim Broad, of the Sun City Center Security Patrol.
Case in point: Two weekends ago, three golf carts driven by teenagers were spotted at 3 a.m. at the Wawa convenience store in Wimauma, Merry said. After a chase, the youths were arrested on unrelated charges by a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who had no information about who [were] the [owners] of the carts, since they’d not been registered.
Several days later, the owners reported their missing golf carts. One had been taken from a house on Rickenbacher Drive, one from the Sun Towers parking lot and the third from Kings Point. These folks got their carts back; some people never see them again.
Registering your golf cart is easy. The process is so quick, you’re in and out in a matter of minutes.
All it involves is providing your name, address and phone number plus your cart’s make, year, color and serial number to be filed in a database at the Sun City Center Patrol office. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has access to it 24/7. Although Kings Point has its own system, the information in it is not readily available to HCSO deputies.
That’s why this registration event is open to everyone with a golf cart in both communities.
Participants are asked to enter from La Jolla Ave. and drive their carts through the parking lot behind the patrol building. A free, basic safety check (horn, indicator lights, brake lights and emergency flashers) is included for those [who] want it, Broad said.
For more information, call 813-645-2020.