Owners of Eau Claire golf course thwart burglars, chase them through neighborhood

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:50 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - New owners of an Eau Claire golf course went to new measures to defend their business early Wednesday morning.

Joshua Walberg and his fiancé, Ally Weyer were woken up around 4:45 a.m. to the sound of a truck pulling up to the front door of Princeton Valley Golf Course.

“We heard some loud banging. Ally woke me up. We looked out the window and saw two vehicles, a U-Haul van and a U-Haul truck,” Walberg said a group of thieves had a tow rope to grab the ATM machine.

“They didn’t get farther than the ATM and the entrance,” he said.

Surveillance video shows the moment the two owners confronted the thieves and made the split second decision to chase them out their doors and through the neighborhood. Weyer jumped into the back of the suspects truck and Walberg followed in his van.

“They drove off, she was in the back of the pickup they were going 80 miles per hour down the parking lot and the street. They were trying to buck her out and she hunkered down in,” Walberg described.

The chase went on for nearly a mile until Walberg blocked the suspects vehicles on Jingle Ct. and they fled on foot towards the woods.

The search for a suspect led police to alert neighbors and secure nearby schools.

“There is indication that these people are not from Eau Claire, they are out of state, so there was thought they might want to steal a car or enter a house so we wanted people to be aware of what was going on,” said Eau Claire Police Officer Josh Miller.

Hours later, two suspects were taken into custody near the intersection of Hastings Way and Eddy Lane. As of Wednesday evening, police were still searching for a third suspect. He is described as a white man, 6′3″ to 6′5″ tall, and wearing all black. He was last seen in the woods near Jingle Ct.

Police are asking anyone who notices suspicious activity in the area to dial 911.

Walberg says he expected some challenges in his first few months owning the golf course, but nothing like this.

“The neighborhood is a safe neighborhood, there are great people around here, why we were targeted? We are not sure,” he said.

Though they have only owned the business for a short time, aside from a few bruises and some damage to the door, the golf course owners are not letting the burglary shake their spirits.

“We feel comfortable here,” Walberg said. “This is home.”

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