Prowlers Target Cars

Rash of thefts reported in Montauk neighborhoods

    Montauk has been the target recently of night-time prowlers looking for unlocked cars. Ditch Plain and East Lake Drive saw a rash of incidents last weekend.
    On Friday night thieves hit driveway after driveway, rifling through glove boxes and consoles. East Lake Drive proved a gold mine for them. They struck from as far north as the airport and all the way south past the highway and into Ditch.
    Fischer’s Cottages on East Lake was victimized, leading to some acrimony between residents and management. Robert and Patricia Skypala told police their 2008 GM had been gone through, with nothing taken but, weirdly, something left behind. The Skypalas found a pair of Bushnell binoculars and a pair of sunglasses in the car that did not belong to them.
    At the same time, police investigating the thefts were speaking with Sally Sidoti, the manager of the property, who reported that her binoculars and sunglasses had been removed from her car. She suggested, according to the police report, that the Skypalas might have taken them, saying they were unhappy that their heat was off the night before. They had called the owner of the complex, Ms. Sidoti said, instead of calling her.
    When she learned that the couple had found her items in their car she reportedly began screaming at Mr. Skypala. Police told her it was unlikely that the Skypalas would have stolen her glasses and then left them in plain view in their own car, especially considering that their vehicle had been rifled.
    Outrigger’s parking lot was also hit. Robert Bishop reported Saturday morning that two Dell laptops were stolen from the cab of his 2003 Toyota Tundra, parked in the lot. 
    Martha Huanga reported a Sony laptop, a Hercules DJ system, and a iPod Nano  missing from her 2003 Escalade, parked at 71 East Lake Drive. The total value was put at over $1,000. Miguel Huanga of the same address reported losing an iPod touch and an iPod classic, together worth $600.
    In Ditch, Maria Sideroff of Caswell Road, a prominent archeologist, reported Saturday morning that someone had gone through her glove box but found nothing of value. Anita Vitucci, who was staying in a house near the airport, was similarly lucky; nothing was taken from her car.
    On Benson Drive, one block south of Montauk Highway in Ditch, there were two more reports of cars being targeted but nothing taken. Harold Foster Jr. reported that his 1997 GMC glove box and console had been gone through, and Chantal Adamcewicz discovered the same when she returned to her 2010 Toyota Saturday morning.
    Several more cars in Montauk were hit a few days earlier. On Election Day, Nov. 6, Helen Stubbmann told police that $40 cash had been stolen overnight from her 2010 BMW parked on South Greenfield Street. Also on South Greenfield, Sean Kinney and his wife, Kristin Mallinson, both had their vehicles entered that same night. The thieves took nothing but left behind a pack of Marlboros.
    On the weekend before Hurricane Sandy, Gainsboro Court and Greenwich Street were struck. Justin Fallon of Gainsboro Court reported on the morning of Oct. 28, a Sunday, that four New York Giants tickets were missing from his unlocked 2007 Jeep, as well as a couple of gift certificates, together valued at $700. A neighbor told police he had seen a man dressed in black on Gainsboro in the early morning hours.
    Jaclyn Roge of Greenwich Street discovered the morning before that $250 in cash had been removed from her 2009 Toyota Siena, along with a checkbook. Thomas Lavin, also of Greenwich Street, said his car had been gone through as well. It was not clear from the report whether anything was stolen.
    Some of the first reports of the Montauk thefts came on Oct. 5 in the Culloden area. Ann Raehse of Gannet Drive told police that day that someone had entered the two cars parked at her residence the night before, removing a wallet with a credit card, among other items.
    Kenneth Hejducek, also of Gannet Drive, had $35 in cash stolen from his car that night. At the same residence, Orla Reville lost a black engraved iPod, an iPhone charger, an earpiece and charger, and $40 in cash.
    A 2007 Chevy pickup belonging to Dennis O’Reilly, parked on Mulford Avenue, was targeted that night as well. Mr. O’Reilly found a Garman GPS device, an iPhone charger, and a portable DVD player gone.
    There was a similar series of thefts from unlocked vehicles in late July and early August in Springs. There have been no arrests in those cases to date.