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OC Register: Ex-Angels player Bobby Grich describes theft on Coto de Caza golf course

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Former Angels All-Star second baseman Bobby Grich is warning Coto de Caza residents of a brazen thief in the area who sped away in his golf cart and made off with his clubs and wallet.

On Jan. 10, Grich was on the North Course of the Coto de Caza Golf & Raquet Club at about 5:30 p.m. There usually aren’t many people around just before dusk but he was hoping to get in a couple of holes and relax, he said.

He was on the green of the 16th hole when he heard something near his cart.

“I was just picking up my ball out of the hole and I hear kind of a clamor,” he said in an interview. A man had jumped into his golf cart, which was on the cart path.

At first he thought maybe the unknown man was mistaking the vehicle.

“Oh this guy is confused and he’s in the wrong cart,” Grich said he thought at the time. “I yelled at him and he didn’t acknowledge me … he didn’t pay attention.”

Theft was the last thing on Grich’s mind.

But when the man, clad in black, sped off, it became clear.

“I went ‘Oh my gosh, he’s stealing my clubs,’ ” and Grich ran after him. Apart from the clubs, his wallet — containing cash, credit cards and his license — and phone also were in the cart.

The former baseball player said he ran after the cart halfway down the fairway, about 200 yards.

“That’s about as fast as I’ve run since I tried to steal second base about 30 years ago,” he said.

He couldn’t reach him so he found another golfer with a cart and hopped in. But by then the thief had driven down the 17th fairway, then took to the streets. Grich saw the man take a right on San Miguel then another right onto Coto de Caza Drive, which runs parallel to several residential communities.

When Grich made it to Coto de Caza Drive he said, he found the cart, ditched. His phone was still there but his wallet and top-quality golf clubs gone.

He got in the cart and drove around the quiet neighborhood asking people if they’d seen the culprit. When he came up empty he called his wife so they could work on getting the three credit cards in his wallet canceled.

But within about 30 minutes of the theft, Grich said, the suspect had gone on a spending spree – $410 at Rite Aid, $268 at Ralphs and $270 at Target. Grich said he reported the theft to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department but also did some investigations of his own.

He managed to get surveillance images of the purported suspect from Rite Aid. His wife also posted about it on a neighborhood Facebook group page which garnered a lot of attention.

Grich has since replaced the golf clubs.

“The bummer of this whole thing is the driver that he took … I’ve never had a driver that good.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed they were called that evening and took a report for grand theft.

Grich said he’s still shocked that the incident happened. It was so “bizarre” that it makes him wonder if the man lives in the area. If so, he wants his neighbors to know.

“I just want to alert people and other golfers as to what happened,” he said. “There’s so much crime going on now and even our golf courses are not safe, even in our gated communities.”

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Lou said:

yeah, I'm sure living in Cota as a retired major leaguer is extremely stressful. 

Grich is just lucky he wasn't golfing in South Central Coto de Caza.  Those are some mean ass streets.  No one, I repeat NO ONE, golf's at dusk in those parts.

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