A string of burglaries during the month of May in Springs and East Hampton has netted thieves thousands in cash and jewelry and left police searching for answers. Two more houses were struck last week.
Two of the houses burglarized are just a few hundred yards from each other. “All that I can say is that there are commonalities” between at least two of the recent burglaries, Detective Lt. Chris Anderson of the East Hampton Town police said Tuesday. “We are investigating them with the possibility that they are connected.”
Thieves targeted a Route 114, East Hampton, house Friday night, removing a heavy safe from an upstairs bedroom, pushing it down the stairs, and driving off with it.
Philip Turits told police that his family had left a few minutes before 7 p.m. and returned at about 9:40, when they discovered the theft. He said there had been about $19,500 in cash in the safe, plus another $1,200 in euros.
Police said there was damage to the stairs and walls, apparently caused when the thieves sent the safe down the stairs. On Tuesday Mr. Turits described it as gray, with a black dial combination lock.
Nothing else in the house was disturbed, indicating that the thieves may have known exactly where to go once they got inside the house. There was no sign of forced entry. The family appeared to have left the front door open when they left, according to the report.
A daytime burglar struck a house on Montauk Boulevard in Springs on May 28, reportedly getting away with over $3,500 in cash and almost $7,000 in jewelry.
The house has several residents, all of whom work during the day. Elsa Loja told police that she had been the last one to leave that morning, at about 8:30. She said the front door had been locked, but she wasn’t sure about the rear sliding door. When she returned at 2:30 p.m., she noticed that the sliding door was unlocked.
Other residents of the house began returning home later that afternoon. Luis Calle discovered that his bedroom door, which he had closed when he left in the morning, was now open. He told police that his wife’s jewelry was missing. Among the items stolen was her yellow-gold wedding ring with a small diamond in it, a gold ring with two large diamonds, and a medium-length gold necklace. Each piece was valued at about $1,500.
Nestor Vargas then returned home and found that his room, too, had been gone through, with $3,500 in cash stolen from his bureau drawer.
Ms. Loja also was victimized by the thief or thieves, losing about $630 worth of jewelry. There was no sign of forced entry, police said.
The recent string of burglaries may have begun in Springs on May 7, when thieves made off with more than $2,000 in cash belonging to Chris Foran of Gardiner Avenue. Police said she has breast cancer and had raised the money to help pay for her treatment, as well as the treatment of others. The police report said the thieves entered through the back door in the middle of the day. The report does not say whether the door was forced open or not.
Then, on May 20, also during daytime hours, thieves hit a house on Ancient Highway in East Hampton and made off with over $5,000 in cash and jewelry. Doreen Anderson reported that a container with $2,000 in coins inside was among items stolen. There was no sign of forced entry into the house, which is several hundred yards from the site of the most recent burglary on Route 114.
It appears, according to police, that in at least three of the cases the thieves may have walked into the residences through unlocked doors.
“We certainly recommend that people lock their doors when they leave their houses,” Detective Anderson said.