Thief Steals More Than $10,000 Worth Of Golf Balls

A Connecticut man was charged with the theft of more than $10,000 worth of golf balls that he stole and then sold to a local driving range for profit. 

Joseph Kolenda, 58, was arrested on a warrant last week for second-degree larceny, according to The Fairfield Citizen. An executed search warrant found more than 2,500 golf balls in his home stamped with The Patterson Club logo, a private country club from which Kolenda would steal the golf balls. 

Police were tipped off earlier this summer when a Patterson Club member noticed that the driving range at Great Brook Sports in Groton, some 75 miles away, had balls stamped with his club’s logo. Patterson Club officials said they noticed three instances of golf balls being stolen this year as well as another instance in 2017.

A detective purchased a bucket of balls at the Great Brooks Sports driving range — to do investigative work and surely not work on his own game — and found that many had the Patterson Club logo emblazoned on them. When confronted, the manager of the range gave the detective Kolenda’s name and phone number.

Kolenda would sell the range golf balls for $0.73 a piece. The value of the stolen golf balls since 2017 was $10,950, according to police reports. Kolenda had been charged previously with golf ball theft in Stamford in 2001 and in Brookfield in 2011.

Kolenda turned himself in and posted his $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Bridgeport on Oct. 23.