Joseph Palmer, 17, of 27 Sunrise Drive Skyline Heights in LaFayette has been charged with theft of property, including $16,000 of city-owned maintenance vehicles.
According to LaFayette police detective Stacey Meeks, Palmer broke into the LaFayette Recreation Center on South Main Street on two separate occasions on Sunday, May 15.
During the afternoon, Palmer stole a city-owned golf cart that the recreation department was using for maintenance purposes and hooked up with some juvenile friends and took the golf cart for a “joy ride” in a local neighborhood area shortly before crashing the golf cart into Town Creek behind Town Creek Apartments.
Once it was stuck, Palmer and friends left the golf cart in the creek.
Meeks said the $6,000 golf cart was destroyed and now Palmer leaves taxpayers with the bill.
On the second occasion on May 15, Palmer allegedly re-entered the recreation center property and stole various miscellaneous items from the maintenance area, as well as a $10,000 Kawasaki Mule, in which Palmer took “joy riding” with his juvenile friends and cause significant cosmetic damage to the vehicle, Meeks said.
On May 16, Palmer was arrested and still had the Kawasaki Mule in his possession and this lead to finding the totaled golf cart at Town Creek, Meeks said.
At the time of the arrest, Palmer had in his possession a reported stolen cell phone from the Skyline Heights neighborhood, Meeks said.
The charges on Palmer include two burglary thefts, two felony thefts, and two felony counts of interference of government property.
Palmer was arrested and taken to the Walker County jail.
“We would like to praise the work of patrol sergeant Johnny Scoggins, who discovered the offender in possession of the stolen Kawasaki Mule and solved the case for the LaFayette Police Department,” Meeks said.