Money was left in an unlocked car

Police Intensify Search For Stolen Loot

This man was seen in the vicinity of the crime in the early morning hours on October 15. Independent/Crime Stoppers

Southampton Town Police responded to charges made by a Bridgehampton business owner that detectives had kept him out of the loop during its investigation of the theft of nearly $60,000.

Police initially reported on Thursday, January 3, that $60,000 has been taken from a car in Bridgehampton 10 weeks earlier, using a Crime Stoppers alert to notify the public and offer a reward. A picture of a “Person of Interest” was released.

But the victim told The Independent police never showed him that photograph and did not follow up with updates after he initially reported the crime on October 15.

“He’s seen it,” countered Southampton Town Police Lieutenant James Kierson. “Maybe he thinks we have other ones or a different video.”

Det. Sgt. Lisa Costa said the investigation is an active one. “We look at every angle. We do not take it lightly. We’re sorry he is not happy.”

The Independent, using police sources, pieced together a more detailed scenario about the disappearance of the cash.

The money was bundled, probably prepared for a bank deposit, and tossed on the seat of a car parked behind the Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen just to the east of School Street shortly after 4 AM the morning of the theft. There is a small lot there, room for perhaps four vehicles set apart from the bigger
municipal parking to the east.

At about 5:15, the victim got into his car to leave and noticed the cash was gone.

The man police say is a person of interest was picked up by a security camera crossing Main Street from north to south. He was a couple of steps from the curb in front of the Candy Kitchen. He was the only person on foot seen on the video during the time the money was in the car.

“It’s pitch-dark outside,” Det. Sgt. Costa related. “We can’t see who is around. We have to develop leads. Could it be a stranger? We’re checking to see what is normal behavior, normal procedure.”

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information should call 800-220-TIPS.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com