Suspects on 4-wheelers vandalize golf course

- A Citrus County golf course is facing thousands of dollars in damage from vandals driving four wheelers on its greens.

Twice this month, vandals have left tire marks in circles and figure eights on the twelfth and fifteenth holes at Twisted Oaks Golf Club, 4801 N Forest Ridge Blvd, in Beverly Hills. Employees first noticed the damage on March 3, then again on March 8.

"It takes a lot of time to repair the damage that's done to the grass. It doesn't happen overnight. It could take a month or more," said Thomas Sweeney, Cart Manager at Twisted Oaks.

The golf club said repairing the grass would require taking grass from another area to lay over the now-exposed sand, or possibly having to wait months for the grass to grow back in some areas.

The eyesore is bad for business, according to employees.

"It'll chase people away. Some people don't like to be there if they don't have good conditions. When they're beat up like that, they don't like to play on the greens," explained Sweeney.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism. Deputies said the culprits are likely striking in broad daylight by hiding in the wooded areas surrounding the greens until golfers leave an area.

"You can get there through a back way off County Road 486, and that's where we think the four wheelers are coming from," said Lindsay Blair, spokesperson for the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. "We have a lot of complaints back there of four wheelers driving throughout the night and the day time."

"There are so many trails out here in the woods that they can ride those four wheelers on. It's senseless to come out here and do damage," said Sweeney.

The sheriff's office is still investigating the incident and closely monitoring the area. Crimestoppers in Citrus County is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ANY-TIPS.

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