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Car Theft in Hampton Bays Leads to Massive Search

Thief ran when campus police officer tried to pull him over, cops say.

Update Friday 8:17 a.m. - When Stony Brook Southampton campus police officers tried to pull over a vehicle Thursday night that had been reported stolen a half hour earlier, the driver led them on a brief chase then jumped from the sedan while it was still in motion, according to police.

Southampton Town police said the chase started on Montauk Highway in Shinnecock Hills, and when the driver abandoned the car near the Middle Pond Road and Dellaria Avenue intersection, it kept going, crashing through a split rail fence then into a mooring in a creek that connects with Middle Pond.

Town police called in a Suffolk police helicopter, Suffolk sheriff's K-9 Unit and Southampton Village police to assist in setting up a perimeter and searching for the suspect, who was described as a man in his late teens or early 20s, with a light complexion.

Sgt. Michael Joyce said the car was a Mazda Familia, which the keys has been left in when it was taken. It was reported stolen at 8:22 p.m. from Union Street in Hampton Bays, police said.

Stony Brook Southampton campus police saw it drive by at 8:50 p.m., Joyce said.

Anyone with information on criminal activity is asked to call the Southampton Town Police Department Detective Division at 631-702-2230 or the Crime Tips Hotline at 631-728-3454, or email crimetips@southamptontownny.gov.

Previously:

A search with a helicopter and police dogs began in Shinnecock Hills Thursday night when a Stony Brook Southampton campus police officer tried to pull over a vehicle stolen from Hampton Bays, and the driver ran, according to Southampton Town police.

Sgt. Michael Joyce said the vehicle was reported stolen from a residence at 8:22 p.m. The keys had been left in the Mazda Familia, he said.

At 8:50 p.m., the campus police officer spotted the Mazda being driven on
Dellaria Drive in Shinnecock Hills, Joyce said. That's when the suspect fled on foot. A Suffolk sheriff's K-9 unit and a Suffolk police helicopter were called in to aid in the search, as were New York State troopers and Southampton Village police, he said.

Multiple police agencies set up a perimeter in the area of Dellaria Drive, Little Neck Lane and surrounding roads.

Police called off the search at 10 p.m.

"We searched the area and couldn't locate him," Joyce said. He could not offer a description of the suspect.

"The investigation is continuing," he added.

Jennifer March 29, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Seriously? All of that for some dumb kid who was probably going for a joy ride....considering the car was in the se area a half hour later! Great use of tax payer money, if the cops are that bored... maybe we should put some of them into code enforcement!
jks April 02, 2013 at 12:14 PM
I heard on the radio this morning that they found and arrested the car thief.
TJ Christie April 02, 2013 at 05:00 PM
jks - indeed he was caught, and charged with another crime as well. http://westhampton-hamptonbays.patch.com/articles/cops-car-thief-who-evaded-helicopter-now-caught-d69d37dc

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