Teen golf star's stolen clubs recovered days before state qualifier
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville man turned himself in to police after stealing numerous items belonging to a senior at Holy Cross High School.
Carlos Lobato, 28 was arrested Sunday, Sept.27, after police confirmed he showed up at the police department requesting to speak to a detective.
On Sept.17, Caleb Wimberg, 17, was notified by the office at Holy Cross High School, that his vehicle had been broken into. Wimberg said glass covered the ground outside of his 1998 Honda Passport.
Wimberg said the thief stole a set of golf clubs, valued at more than $3,000, from his vehicle.
"They are my most prized possession, other than my car," he said.
In addition to the golf clubs, Wimberg said his golf shoes, golf polos and class ring were also stolen.
"I put my class ring in my golf bag during each match," he said.
As if the theft wasn't enough, Wimberg said it could not have happened at a worse time. He was two weeks away from playing in the regional tournament and the detective told him it could take nearly a month or two before any information would become available.
As a senior, this was Wimberg's last opportunity to qualify for the state tournament. Luckily, his coach was able to provide a loaner set for him to practice with, but Wimberg said it wasn't the same.
"I didn't feel confident," Wimberg said. "My clubs were sized perfectly for me and you play a whole different game when you use a different set of clubs."
Friday evening was a game changer – Detective Jason Ford called Wimberg with good news.
"He said 'I have your clubs,'" Wimberg said. "He even brought them to my house, 9:30 at night."
According to Detective Ford, Lobato admitted to breaking the window of Wimberg's car and stealing a set of golf clubs and his class ring.
Wimberg said his discouraged attitude quickly changed.
He said, "I was so happy and relieved!"
But, the biggest relief came when Wimberg used those very clubs during the tie breaker to qualify for the state tournament.
"I don't know how I did it, but I made a birdie on that hole," Wimberg said. "So, I left the pressure on him, he came up short and I'm really blessed to have that happen to me."
The good news became great news when Detective Ford recovered Wimberg's class ring, four days later.
"I figured it would be melted by now," Wimberg said. "I was so happy about that, I love my ring."
As of Tuesday, Lobato is charged with at least six felonies. He is scheduled to appear in court again Wednesday morning.
Detective Ford said Lobato told him he participated in the thefts to support his drug habit.
Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.