MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida visitor was enjoying a day on the links when a thief targeted him for his pricey Rolex watch, but thanks to some watchful employees-turned-crime fighters, the culprit would not get far.

Speaking with 7News on Friday, Tommy McJunkins said he came to South Florida for one main reason.

“Hit a few balls,” he said.

So the retired, vacationing golfer, who drove up from the Florida Keys, hit one of his favorite local courses on Wednesday: the Miami Beach Golf Club.

All it took, the victim said, was for him to leave his bag unattended for a few minutes.

“Walked back to my cart, where I was met by one of the cart attendants,” he said,

Alexis Garcia, a head gold professional at the club, said he spotted a suspicious character.

“He did make his way out that way,” said McJunkins.

Garcia said the suspicious man was lingering and poking around course and McJunkins’ bag.

The concerned employee employee immediately approached McJunkins on the course.

“[I asked him], ‘Do you mind just checking your bag for me, please?'” said Garcia.

“He said, ‘You need to check inside your bag and make sure all your belongings are there,'” said McJunkins. “I said, ‘OK, there’s my wallet, some loose cash, and there’s my key and, oh my goodness, my Rolex is gone.'”

Not just any Rolex. McJunkins’ wildly popular “Hulk” Rolex, valued at $26,000, nicknamed that way because of its green face, had been swiped from his bag.

It was a good thing, then, that the staff at the golf club were on to the thief.

Garcia said his fear had been confirmed.

“We spring into action. [The thief] completely bolts,” he said.

The crook hightailed it off the green, but those at the club, already with a running golf cart, were ready to put the kibosh on his getaway.

“Chased him off property. I get on another call with my director, we go ahead and assist with that,” said Garcia. “We end up pinning the guy around 23rd and Prairie [Avenue]. The guy easily relinquishes the watch.”

“They got on their walkie-talkies and said, ‘Yeah, we saw that guy right over there,’ and they deployed like the Delta force,” said McJunkins.

“Literally just sat there until Miami Beach‘s finest came by,” said Garcia.

The staffers kept their unwanted visitor ready to be picked up by officers.

The suspect, identified as 58-year-old Jeffrey Cochran, was caught, cuffed and questioned.

Police said they Cochran was in possession of yet another Rolex watch in his pocket.

As for McJunkins, he said he learned a valuable lesson.

“Don’t leave your stuff in your golf bag unattended,” he said.

But the golfer said he was grateful for a little help from those at the club.

“Really struck right here, right here in the heart. They went above and beyond,” he said.

Cochran appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer on Thursday morning. He faces a charge of grand theft, a second-degree felony.

Cochran is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade. He also has an out-of-county hold for yet another grand theft case.

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