Former Atherton officer ordered to pay restitution in golf club theft

A former Atherton police officer who pleaded no contest to charges that he stole expensive golf clubs and then sold them to a golf store last year was ordered Thursday in San Mateo County Superior Court to pay the owner of the clubs nearly $800 in restitution, a chief deputy district attorney said.

Clark Yee, 29, was an officer in Atherton for several years before the robbery occurred in November 2007, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

An Atherton resident who had left specialized golf clubs in the back of his car reported on Nov. 19 that the clubs were stolen while his car was parked in his driveway, Wagstaffe said.

Officers, including Yee, responded and filed a police report, according to Wagstaffe.

The victim later went to The Golf Mart in South San Francisco to purchase replacement clubs and spotted 14 of his specialty clubs, which had identifying marks, in the section of the store that sold resale golf clubs, Wagstaffe said.

The man contacted police, who viewed security footage from the business and witnessed Yee selling the clubs to the store, according to Wagstaffe.

Atherton police turned over the investigation to the district attorney's office and investigators questioned Yee, who initially said he had purchased the clubs from a man he contacted over the Internet, according to Wagstaffe.

Yee said he purchased the clubs from the man, named “Omar,” but no longer knew how to contact Omar. He told investigators he decided he did not want the clubs and then sold them to The Golf Mart, Wagstaffe said.

Investigators served search warrants, seizing Yee's two computers to look for communication between Yee and “Omar.” No such communication was found, Wagstaffe said.

Yee was then charged with filing a false police report because he was one of the officers who responded to the victim's initial call and filed the police report with the knowledge that he had committed the crime.

He was also charged with burglary and pleaded no contest in June to one felony count of filing a false police report and one count of misdemeanor burglary for sale of stolen property, Wagstaffe said. 

He was sentenced to three years' probation and 50 days in county jail, which Wagstaffe said is likely being served through the sheriff's work program.

Yee lost his job at the Police Department and will not be allowed to work as an officer again due to his felony conviction.

In court today, and Judge Clifford Cretan ruled that Yee is to pay the victim $770 in restitution as well as restitution to The Golf Mart in an amount to be determined by the probation department, Wagstaffe said.

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