Man in Red Seen on Roofs Around the Hamptons

Santa Claus prowler climbing into chimney
An image of the prowler before dark on Monday, Photo: Wayne Barry

Despite the Christmas holiday and the usual goodwill around the Twin Forks, East End residents should keep a careful watch over their properties today.

Homeowners in the Hamptons, Riverhead and the North Fork reported what appears to be the same unidentified prowler sneaking around their roofs and yards last night, the evening of Monday, December 24. The large and imposing man was described in each case to be wearing a red suit and black boots, and, according to two Greenport residents, he was trying to enter both homes through their brick chimneys.

In several cases, the man entered the homes and stole cookies and milk left out for Santa Claus. Local parents said they did not eat the cookies, drink the milk or take the carrots left out for the mythical St. Nick and his reindeer, so police are blaming the prowler, who was also seen carrying a very large sack filled with gifts, which he must have stolen from area homes—though no such thefts have been reported.

In fact, those who did see or hear the prowler in their homes said he did not take anything but milk and cookies and, in some cases, carrots. An East Hampton man said he heard what sounded like at least eight horses walking around on his roof and yard on Cedar Street.

“I know, it sounds insane, but I think this guy is traveling by horse-drawn carriage,” Charles Danart said. “Maybe he’s Amish.”

East Hampton Town Police said it’s more likely the prowler was driving a sports car or even piloting a helicopter. “This guy was all over the East End,” EHTPD Detective Morris Egbert said, explaining that the time and location of sightings and reports prove the man was either traveling “almost impossibly fast” or he was one member of a team of prowlers—all dressed in red suits with black boots.

“I have my own theories, but they aren’t too popular around HQ,” Egbert said, looking wistfully into the clouds. “I’m willing to bet good money we won’t see or hear any more about this guy until this time next year.”

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