An employee carrying much of the holiday weekend’s cash in a bank-drop bag was robbed at gunpoint by another man Saturday night in the parking lot behind the I.G.A. on North Main Street in East Hampton, Detective Lt. Chris Anderson of the East Hampton Town police said Monday.
According to the East Hampton Town call log for the day, the call was received at 10:19 p.m.
The assailant was described as “a black male, in his 20s, short in stature.” He was said to be wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, and had a Jamaican accent.
When confronted with the gun, the employee briefly resisted, but the assailant gained control of the bank bag and ran down Collins Avenue toward Accabonac Road, jumped into a dark sedan, which then sped away, headed “south on Accabonac, toward 27,” Detective Anderson said. Police believed the assailant was headed west, likely with someone else driving.
While there are no visible surveillance cameras in the back parking lot of the I.G.A., which is used by both the public and employees, there are numerous surveillance cameras in the vicinity, and East Hampton Village police headquarters is just a hundred or so yards away. The quirky boundary line between town and village in the North Main Street area places the I.G.A. in the town’s jurisdiction, with the village beginning on the opposite side of the street.
The detective would not comment on whether the police believe the crime to be an inside job, but it appeared the gunman knew the exact time and place to stage the robbery.
A man who works on Main Street in East Hampton was driving home at about 10:30 that night on Montauk Highway and was pulled over by police in Bridgehampton. “I wasn’t speeding. Why did you pull me over?” the man, who is black and asked that his name not be used, said he asked police.
He was told that there had been a robbery in East Hampton. After briefly questioning the man, who did not otherwise fit the description of the assailant, police let him go.
“I’m frightened,” Hilda Pacheco, an employee at Mitad del Mundo Express on North Main Street, said on Monday when she heard about the robbery. Located two doors down from the I.G.A., Mitad del Mundo closes at the same time as the grocery store on Saturdays.
“You don’t feel safe here anymore,” said Ximena Hurtado, who has lived in East Hampton for 13 years and was shopping Monday at Mitad del Mundo. “You have to lock everything now,” Ms. Hurtado said. “Where are the Hamptons where you could leave your doors open? That’s gone.”
Ms. Hurtado, a former employee of the I.G.A., recalled an attempted robbery at the grocery store some years in the past, but she could not remember the exact details.