A familiar face at Spanish Springs Town Square was recently caught up in a crazy golf cart mixup that resulted in the loss of her personal property.
Dolly Pelny had taken her golf cart in for repair at The Villages Golf Cars at La Plaza Grande and she had been given a 2018 gas-powered Yamaha loaner cart.
The Spruce Creek South resident on the evening of Oct. 30 took the tan loaner cart to the square with a friend from Spruce Creek South. Pelny had baked pumpkin bread and took it to the square to share with friends. She parked the cart at about 5 p.m. in front of Katie Belle’s. She returned at about 8 p.m. and was aghast when she discovered the cart was missing.
She contacted Lady Lake police and the ladies got a ride home from Pelny’s friend’s husband who came to retrieve them at the square. The next day, police contacted The Villages Golf Cars, where a manager said she would like to see the thief prosecuted.
A 78-year-old resident of The Villages showed up Nov. 1 at The Villages Golf Cars with Pelny’s loaner cart. She had gotten into Pelny’s cart on the evening of Oct. 30, thinking it was her loaner cart. The Yamaha keys are universal, so the woman drove home in Pelny’s loaner.
A friend of Pelny’s had pointed out that another Yamaha loaner cart from The Villages Golf Cars sat for two days over by TooJay’s Gourmet Deli at Spanish Springs. Turns out it was the one the 78-year-old Villager should have driven home that night.
It would have been a simple mixup, no harm, no foul. But Pelny’s loaner cart had her handicapped parking placard, Bluetooth cord, Spruce Creek South gate pass, dog toy, dog pooper scooper and an airhorn used to scare away coyotes. Her friend also left her sweater in the golf cart. And because it was the Halloween season, Pelny had decorated the loaner golf cart with a skeleton.
The 78-year-old Villager told police that she thought someone had put the items in “her” loaner golf cart by mistake. There was a bag in the golf cart, so she put all of the items, including the handicapped parking placard, in the bag and left it next to Amerikano’s Grille.
After the mystery was solved, Pelny began searching for that bag, checking with the staff at Amerikano’s Grille and the cleaning crew at the square. No luck.
There were no arrests in the case.
There has been a rash of recent Yamaha golf cart thefts in The Villages, including the theft of a Yamaha golf cart parked at World of Beer at Spanish Springs.