• Gate-crashing golf carts on the rampage at The Villages


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Fed up with gate crashers, officials in The Villages are taking new steps to stop hit-and-run drivers.
    Officials at The Villages said golf cart drivers trying to squeeze through gated entrances are tearing down the gates.
    Officials said it costs anywhere from $250 to more than $1,000 every time someone crashes through a gate.
    The Villages leaders are hoping new cameras will help them locate, and identify the suspects and make them pay for the damages.
    "I go, 'Oh my, gosh, not again,' how many times are they going to destroy the gate?" said Villages resident, Barbara Love.
    Love is shocked every time she sees a gate that has been knocked down or damaged after someone who was driving a golf cart has plowed right through.
    "There's usually bars missing, or there's a big dent, sometimes the arm get damaged and they have to tape the gate open, and turn it off so they can get in and out," said Love.
    Cameras posted at the gates capture the crashes, but since the golf carts don't have to have license plates, Villages officials have a tough time trying track down the drivers.
    Residents said the gates at Paradise Drive are hit all the time. 
    "About once a week you come by, and the gates laying down or busted up and it's just an ongoing problem," said Clint Vonk.
    Right now The Villages is in the process of installing better, higher resolution cameras, which would produce clearer video.
    They hope better video will help them identify the people who are destroying the gates so they can be held responsible.
    Eyewitness News learned that those cameras cost anywhere from $800 to $1,000, and so far they have been put up at gates all over The Villages. 
    "If people start getting fined for it or charged for it, you know they're going to think about it a little bit," said Vonk.
    Residents told Eyewitness News that they believe the new cameras are already making difference.
    The Villages plans to take action against people busted for crashing the gates.

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    Gate-crashing golf carts on the rampage at The Villages