Michael Civitella Charged With Stealing Golf Clubs That He Attempted To Return, Then Sold On 2ndSwing.com.
ATTORNEY: ”Does Boca PD Need Something To Do?”
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Boca Raton Police Department spent seven months investigating the alleged theft of a few golf clubs found by a man with homes worth millions of dollars in Boca Raton and Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. The man, Michael Civitella, is now charged with one count of larceny and another of ”selling stolen property via the internet.”
But the affidavit of probable cause, reviewed by BocaNewsNow.com — and published, in its entirety, below — raises questions about the alleged theft, and whether a theft actually occurred. It also raises questions about the length of time, and police resources, spent on a handful golf clubs found on a street.
According to the City of Boca Raton police report, a bag of golf clubs fell off of Richard and Karen Levine’s truck on or about December 27th, 2021 in the area of Mizner Village — a community of high-end homes in far east Boca Raton. Civitella, according to the report, was out bike riding, found the bag, and took it to the security guard house. As time passed, Civitella returned, retrieved the bag, and attempted to do his own detective work to determine who the bag belonged to. According to the report, he saw a Miami Country Club bag tag on the bag so called the country club but was unable to locate Richard Levine who drove the truck, or Theron Fritz who apparently owned the golf clubs. He called another country club — near where the bag was dropped — and also failed to locate Levine or Fritz.
“Civitella tried internet searching the name on the bag, but was unable to locate any information that would assist him contacting the owner,” according to the police report. ”After a week or ten days of having the equipment, Civitella decided to sell the clubs to 2nd Swing company and give the money to some workers at his home. He asked the workers to prepare the clubs (not the bag) to be shipped to the 2nd Swing company for the sale. In reference to the equipment/property not sold to 2nd Swing, Civitella said the additional property was thrown away.”
Once 2ndSwing.com placed the clubs online, Theron Fritz saw the golf clubs and attempted to get them back. Civitella apparently agreed to assist. Working with Civitella and 2ndSwing.com, Fritz received the original golf clubs. He and Civitella apparently agreed that that Civitella would send him $900 for outstanding missing items and the incident would be considered settled. But it apparently wasn’t settled. While Civitella’s attorney sent Fritz a check, Fritz never cashed it. Instead, he called Boca Raton PD which spent months investigating the golf clubs. The investigation included Boca Raton PD obtaining photos and video of Civitella shipping the golf clubs from a Fedex location to 2ndSwing, running background checks on both Civitella and his son, and obtaining cell phone records — all for golf clubs that fell off of Richard and Karen Levine’s truck and were found by Civitella who apparently spent time trying to find the rightful owner before selling them online.
“It’s lost property,” said an attorney unrelated to the case. ”If the Boca Raton Police Department needs something to do, they should call. I have a list.”
Seven months after a bag of golf clubs falls off a truck owned by Richard and Karen Levine, the Boca Raton Police Department arrested Michael Civitella. He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail. He was released on $6,000 bond. Prosecutors in the office of State Attorney for Palm Beach County, David Aronberg, are reviewing the case and will decide whether or not to move forward.
ED NOTE: An original version of this story identified Richard Levine as the owner of the golf clubs. The owner is actually Theron Fritz. Levine was transporting the golf clubs when they fell off of his truck.
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