The Hamptons Police Department is on the hunt for a thief who stole cash and items valued at a total of at least $42 million from a car parked in East Hampton this week. The treasure trove, pulled from the trunk, center console and floor of a relatively unassuming vintage Mercedes-Benz, included $8 million in cash and $2 million in Swiss bearer bonds, along with a antique Fabergé egg worth at least $9.6 million, and an original Stradivarius violin, estimated at around $16 million.
Police confirm the items reported stolen were indeed in the car and could clearly be seen in footage from a nearby security camera, which caught the thief in action. So far, however, the perpetrator has not been identified.
“From what we understand, the victim did little to secure his possessions,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch explained Wednesday, “but we have no reason to suspect him of colluding in this offense or attempting any sort of insurance scam.”
The pricey cache wasn’t insured, and the crestfallen owner left much of his valuables out in the open, “essentially on the floor like most would leave fast food wrappers and gas receipts,” Hirsch said, adding, “But that’s not entirely unusual here in the Hamptons.”
Video footage of the crime first shows a white male, possibly between the ages of 25 and 35, wearing casual clothes and a cap pulled low over his face, approach the car, look in the window and walk away. The man returns a short time later with a large duffel bag, opens the car’s unlocked door and calmly gathers the goods, taking time to reach beneath the seats and remove crumpled bills and bearer bonds, before leaving the scene.
“No one gave the guy a second look,” Hirsch said, describing witnesses as “quite blasé” as they went about their own business of packing groceries in cloth reusable shopping bags and talking or texting on their cellphones.
Investigators are currently trying to find the source of the duffel bag, which the thief likely bought at a shop in town. If you have any information about this theft, please contact the Hamptons Police Department.