ARARAT - Ararat Police have been kept busy dealing with a series of crimes since Australia Day, culminating in an overnight vehicle theft and serious damage to a golf club on Sunday.
The Aradale Golf Club is reeling after an act of senseless vandalism to its golf course greens which has left a damage bill estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000.
Some time after 5pm last Sunday night a stolen Land Cruiser was driven onto five of the nine greens causing deep and extensive damage to the surfaces.
It isn't the first incident of its kind but club member Ken Mahney said it is the most damaging.
"We have had vandalism at the course before, but not like this," he said.
"Who ever it was has actually driven on to a couple of the greens on one side of the course, then over a bridge to get to the other side of the creek and damage the greens over there too.
"They have gone to a lot of trouble just to vandalise the course.
"As a member of the club, it really breaks your heart to see this type of damage."
The vehicle used to cause the widespread damage to the course was later found crashed and over turned in McDonald Park Road, along the Western Highway.
"It really looks to me like they haven't just driven across the greens, but they've actually taken part in some circle work, going over and over the same spot," Mr Mahney said.
He said the damage had caused deep holes in the greens and it would require a lot of work to repair.
"It really makes things difficult for a volunteer club, that is made up of volunteer labour, to afford to make repairs like this," he said.
"We don't have the finances tobe able to fix up such an act of vandalism on top of the already dry weather conditions which have already placed some pressures on the club."
The Criminal Investigation Unit along with uniform officers at the Ararat Police Station investigated the events of Sunday night and have since charged two people.
Leading Senior Constable Matt Cashman said two people have been charged over a series of offences committed between Australia Day, January 26 and February 4.
The first, a 17 year old youth, has been bailed to appear in the Ararat Children's Court on March 25, the second, an 18 year old male, was also charged and bailed.
The two have been charged with multiple offences including the theft of two motor vehicles, burglary, criminal damage, driving in a manner dangerous and various other hoon driving offences.
"The pair first stole a vehicle on the night of January 30, driving it until it ran out of petrol and abandoning it in Noah's Ark road," Mr Cashman said.
A Land Cruiser was then stolen on February 3, taken for a joyride, used to destroy parts of the Aradale Golf Course and crashed and abandoned in McDonald Park Road.
The offenders sustained no injuries from rolling the vehicle and left the scene.Mr Cashman said the two were taken in for questioning and charged and have been placed on strict bail curfew conditions.
"The community can be reassured we will be ensuring the compliance of these strict restrictions to prevent further crimes," he said.
Mr Cashman said there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs involved in the behaviour of the pair who are known to police.
He said police are continuing to investigate the thefts of other motor vehicles in recent weeks.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ararat Police Criminal Investigation Unit.It is also requested anyone with information on the offences committed between January 26 and February 4 is also encouraged to come forward and contact Ararat Police.