A suspect has been tracked down in the theft of a Villager’s golf cart from a bowling alley at Spanish Springs Town Square.
The dark blue 2015 Yamaha gas-powered golf cart had been parked Sept. 7 at Spanish Springs Lanes on Alverez Avenue. The owner went into the bowling alley at about 6:30 p.m. and emerged about four hours later to find his golf cart had vanished.
Lady Lake Police Detective Matthew Duryea began an investigation, relying on surveillance video which showed a white Jeep Commander entering the bowling alley’s parking lot. A blonde woman got out of the vehicle in the parking lot and got into the Yamaha golf cart, according to an affidavit of probable cause. She signaled the driver of the Jeep Commander and she drove over the golf cart bridge to the Historic Side of The Villages. She appeared to use a key she had in her possession to start the golf cart. The Jeep Commander was caught on video, entering the Historic Side of The Villages at the Wales Gate. The gate camera snapped a photo of the vehicle’s license plate.
The Jeep Commander was spotted Sept. 12 by Lady Lake police officers. The vehicle was pursued onto County Road 25, but the driver fled at a speed of 100 miles per hour and the chase was halted. Marion County sheriff’s deputies on Sept. 15 contacted the Lady Lake Police Department to advise the Jeep Commander had been abandoned at a Dollar General store on County Road 42. Multiple golf cart keys were found during an inventory of the vehicle.
Surveillance images and social media posts led to 33-year-old Katie Leeann Bell of Leesburg who was taken into custody Sunday night when she was found in the parking lot of the La Hacienda Recreation Center. She was booked on a charge of grand theft at the Lake County Jail. Bond was set at $2,000.
Bell has a lengthy criminal history, including a 2017 shoplifting arrest in which she was accompanied by her grandmother.