Police: Oneida man damaged headstones, golf carts, trees, during golf course burglary

By WKTV News

ONEIDA, N.Y. (WKTV) - An Oneida man is facing a slew of charges after authorities say he damaged headstones in a cemetery as well as trees and golf carts, during a burglary at a nearby golf course.

According to police, Matthew L. Warner, 28, of Oneida was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, first-degree cemetery desecration, petit larceny, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Authorities say that around 3:20 a.m. on September 8, Oneida Police on patrol in the Kenwood Avenue area heard a cracking noise followed by a thud coming from the area of the golf course. As the patrol approached the area on foot, they say they heard what sounded like a chainsaw running and saw lights by a log cabin on the property. As the patrol got closer, a motor of what was later determined to be from a golf cart was heard.

Police say Warner was found on the golf cart trying to free the cart, which was wedged on top of a cemetery stone.

Warner is alleged to have unlawfully, forcibly entered a maintenance building on the property and stole golf balls, golf cart key, two gas cans and a chain saw, as well as damaging two golf carts and two mature trees, police said. Authorities said one tree was found to have been cut with a chain saw and a second set on fire. One golf cart was alleged to have been burned and found in a ditch while the second one was lodged on a gravestone and had damage to the seat from the heat of the chain saw, causing melting in the seat, police said.

Police said two headstones were damaged at the Oneida Community Cemetery located off the golf course and in addition, Warner is alleged to have possessed property stolen from a vehicle parked on Kenwood Avenue. Warner was arraigned and committed to Madison County Jail in lieu of bail set at $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond. He is set to appear in court on September 14.

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