An employee carrying much of the East Hampton I.G.A.’s weekend cash intake in a bank-drop bag was robbed at gunpoint on Saturday night in the parking lot behind the North Main Street store.
Detective Lt. Chris Anderson of the East Hampton Town police said the theft was reported at 10:19 p.m. The victim described the gunman as “a black male, in his 20s, short in stature,” wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt. He had “a Jamaican accent,” police were told.
The store employee told police he’d resisted briefly when confronted with the gun, but the assailant grabbed the bank bag from him and ran down Collins Avenue toward Accabonac Road, where he jumped into “a dark sedan.” It sped off toward Montauk Highway, the employee reported.
Bill Clark, who has owned the store with a partner, Bob Stark, for 15 years, said on Tuesday that the police were still investigating the crime. He said he and his partner have spent many hours with detectives going over the details, which he would not discuss.
The two men, who also own the Montauk I.G.A., had been planning to install security cameras in the parking lots of both stores. They already have cameras inside both stores.
“It’s not just for the employees, it’s for the safety of the customers,” Mr. Clark said.
While there are no cameras in the lot itself, which is used by both the public and employees, there are a few in the vicinity, which police have been checking.
East Hampton Village Police Department headquarters is just across North Main from the I.G.A. It does have cameras in place in its parking lot, but police said they would not have picked up images from Collins Avenue.
The quirky boundary line between the town and the 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 that 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 on the highway at about 10:30 that night and was pulled over by a patrol car in Bridgehampton. “I wasn’t speeding. Why did you pull me over?” the man, who is black and who requested that his name not be used, said he asked police.
He was told 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,” said Hilda Pacheco, an employee at Mitad del Mundo Express on North Main Street, on Monday. 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. Where are the Hamptons where you could leave your doors open? That’s gone.”
Mr. Clark said he was confident the police will solve the crime. “They’re being very thorough,” he said.