A former Atherton police officer pleaded not guilty Monday to four felony charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a golf-club theft in the town he was sworn to serve.
Daly City resident Clark Yee, 29, is charged with two counts of making false police reports, one count of second-degree burglary and one count of possession of stolen property. He faces a maximum of five years in state prison if convicted of all the charges.
The case began Oct. 23, according to prosecutors, when someone stole 14 golf clubs out of a vehicle parked in an Atherton driveway. Weeks later, the victim spotted 12 of his stolen clubs for sale at Golf Mart in South San Francisco. Sales records revealed Yee had traded them for store credit, said Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Prosecutors believe Yee then concocted a story that a man named Omar sold him the clubs on craigslist.org.
“He claimed he had no knowledge the clubs had been stolen and that he was going to use them himself but then decided to sell them,” Wagstaffe said. Yee allegedly documented the claim in a police report, providing a description of Omar and detailing the Craigslist meeting.
“There is no Omar. That’s our belief,” Wagstaffe said, adding that district attorney’s investigators examined Yee’s computer hard drive and determined he did not have contact with anyone over Craigslist.
Prosecutors do not have evidence to support charging Yee with stealing the golf clubs from the car, Wagstaffe said. The burglary charge stems from entering Golf Mart with the stolen clubs.
Atherton police Chief Robert Brennan said Monday that he was surprised by Yee’s alleged involvement. Yee, a former Palo Alto police officer who transferred to the Atherton Police Department in 2002, had no disciplinary history.
“By all other standards, he was a fine officer,” Brennan said. Atherton police placed Yee on administrative leave in December as they began an internal investigation. Yee resigned earlier this year.
Wagstaffe said the lengthy criminal investigation concluded April 14, when Yee came to the District Attorney’s Office and was arrested. He posted $100,000 bail the same day.
Yee’s attorney, William Rapoport, did not return calls for comment.