Thieves Snatch Golf Cart That Vietnam Vet Used to Get Around
At 72 years old and recovering from pneumonia and COVID-19, Vietnam War veteran David Stotler’s life was upended when thieves stole the golf cart he used as his main form of getting around.
The caught-on-cam robbery happened early Christmas Eve, when the thieves snatched the $6,000 golf cart from outside Stotler’s home at Crane Lakeside Park and Resort in Lake Elsinore. Stotler often feels so week that he uses a walker to get around, but the golf cart allowed him to still be able to walk his dog, Duke.
The ordeal temporarily forced Stotler to be separated from his beloved dog, whom his daughter had to care for.
“They don’t really need a golf cart. They’re just trying to sell stuff, steal from people,” Stotler told NBCLA outside his home.
Neighbor Lee Heer said the theft appeared planned in advance. He said his wife heard Stotler’s golf cart backing up in the early morning hours, but by the time Heer got in his truck to check out what was going on, the culprits had already loaded the cart onto a trailer and taken off down Grand Avenue.
Thankfully, Jason Daoust heard about Stotler’s plight and jumped into action. The fellow vet, who buys and sells golf carts as a hobby, gifted Stotler a new golf cart.
“It’s sad for a veteran to lose a golf cart. And I’m a fellow veteran myself, so I wanted to donate a golf cart to him,” Daoust said.
While the thieves who stole Stotler’s other golf cart remain on the run, he now once again has a way to get around – and can reunite with Duke.