Multi-State Golf Cart Bandit Gets Two Years In FEDERAL Prison

A Florida man was sentenced to two years in federal prison for a series of motorized golf cart thefts starting in 2017 in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Nathan Rodney Nelson, a former Minnesota resident living in Apollo Beach, Florida, came under FBI investigation in July 2019 and was arrested in June 2020 when he was caught trying to steal golf carts from a dealer in Donalsonville, Georgia.

He also was carrying pre-printed serial number labels and burglary tools, according to court documents. Investigators say he stole at least 63 golf carts – the value of which was at least $283,500 -.in seven states.

Nelson would typically steal carts in pairs from rural Midwestern golf courses, usually at night. He sold many of the carts under the alias Mason Weber, at a cost of about $2,500 each, court documents show.

Defense attorney Lorelle Moeckel said in a sentencing memorandum that her client was not able to keep his business going and pay his bills. He came up with the idea to steal golf carts to solve his financial problems and “from there it became easier and easier for him to stray from his long held moral compass.”

Nelson pleaded guilty in December to interstate transportation of stolen property. His sentencing calls for him to serve three years of supervised release and pay back about $14,000.

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