4 arrested, $36,000 in stolen golf carts recovered in Palm Desert theft investigation

PALM DESERT, Calif., — Authorities say four people were arrested and more than $36,000 in stolen golf carts were recovered as the result of an extensive investigation that began earlier this month.

Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station personnel, along with the Riverside Auto-Theft Interdiction Detail (RAID) team members conducted the weeks-long investigation, “which incorporated numerous man-hours and included the disassembling of a golf cart for evidentiary purposes”, according to officials.


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After receiving multiple reports of golf carts being stolen throughout the jurisdictional boundaries of the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station earlier this month, station investigators began conducting follow-up investigations to determine if any of the thefts were related, Riverside Sheriff’s Lieutenant Chris Willison has since said of the investigation and arrests.

As a result of their investigation, officials located and seized more than $36,000 in golf carts, all of which have since been returned to their rightful owners.

Officials also located and arrested four people suspected for their involvement in the thefts. They have since been identified as Daniel Vital, 35, Glen James Usher, 42, Steve Lucas Short, 41, and Juan Francisco Sosa, 51. All are Thousand Palms residents.

“All of the suspects in this investigation were arrested and booked into the John Benoit Detention Center for several theft-related charges,” the Lieutenant explained.

Willison went on to say:

“The Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station would like to remind residents in the community to be mindful of their belongings and to take a few extra steps to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.

These quick tips can be as simple as removing valuables from plain view, securing items whenever feasible in a safe place, and removing keys from the ignition on vehicles when not in use.

We also suggest you serialize your valuables if possible. As it greatly assists our professionals with identifying recovered property, as well as assists in the timely return of those items.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department takes criminal activity seriously, and with your assistance in taking a few preventative measures, together we can improve the quality of life for all to enjoy.”

Online jail records indicate Vital remains in custody in lieu of $35,000 bail or bond, while both Short and Sosa have since been released with citations to appear in court later this year. Records also indicate Usher has already been sentenced for possession of stolen property and is no longer in custody within Riverside County.


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Anyone with additional information regarding these investigations is urged to contact Deputy Jacob Paull at (760) 836-1600, or call anonymously at (760) 341-STOP (7867). Callers can refer to incident file number O221360004 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.