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Aug 4, 2010 11:53 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Police still looking for woman who robbed Westhampton Beach bank on Saturday

Aug 4, 2010 11:53 AM

Police are still searching for a woman who robbed the Astoria Federal Savings Bank on Sunset Avenue in Westhampton Beach on Saturday morning, making off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Suffolk County and Westhampton Beach Village police said the woman—whom they describe as black, between 35 and 45 years old, and between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 7 inches tall—handed a teller a note demanding cash at around 9 a.m. No weapons were displayed during the robbery and no injuries were reported, according to a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Police Department.

The bank had opened at 8:30 a.m., and the woman was the only customer in the bank at the time, according to police. Six employees were at work.

The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of money and then exited the bank through a back door, according to police. They said the woman was last seen running behind the 7-Eleven, located just south of the bank on Sunset Avenue and just east of Village Hall, which also houses the Westhampton Beach Police Department headquarters.

Authorities said that the suspect was wearing sunglasses, a black-and-white hat with horizontal stripes, a black top and skirt, and white slippers.

Five Village Police officers were on duty when the call came in at 9:04 a.m., according to Westhampton Beach Police Chief Ray Dean. He said that all five officers immediately responded, with the first arriving on scene less than a minute after the call came in.

“They were literally just around the corner,” said Chief Dean, noting that the suspect was already gone by the time the first officers arrived.

Village Police officers secured the scene, performed an initial search for the suspect and identified witnesses, he said. Chief Dean said he notified the Suffolk County Police Department of the robbery at 9:10 a.m., requesting their assistance with the ongoing investigation. He said that Suffolk County Police investigators arrived later that morning, though he wasn’t sure exactly when.

It is customary for smaller municipalities to request the assistance of Suffolk County Police for larger cases, according to both Chief Dean and Detective Lieutenant Gerard Pelkofsky, the head of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Squad, which handles a number of major crimes, including robberies.

“The people in Westhampton Beach pay taxes to Suffolk County to investigate serious crimes that include bank robbery, arson, murders,” Det. Lt. Pelkofsky said.

He declined to offer further details about the robbery, including the response times of 
Suffolk County Police, calling it an “active and ongoing investigation.”

Chief Dean said the Saturday incident was the first bank robbery to occur in Westhampton Beach during his 11 years as police chief.

Det. Lt. Pelkofsky said three Suffolk County Police officers responded to the scene on Saturday morning, but declined to divulge when. The Press requested the information under the New York State Freedom of Information Act, but a response could take up to 30 days, according to a letter from the Suffolk County Police Department.

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation also responded to the robbery, according to Chief Dean.

Jennifer Hecht, the assistant branch manager at Astoria Federal Savings Bank in Westhampton Beach, said that branch employees were not allowed to comment on the robbery, and referred all questions to the 
bank’s central marketing department.

“We’re not at liberty to really discuss this because of the ongoing investigation,” said an Astoria Federal Savings Bank representative who declined to identify herself. “We are working closely with the Suffolk County robbery and homicide squad, and that’s all we can tell you at this point.”

The investigation is continuing and those with information regarding the robbery are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. Police said all calls will remain confidential.

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She will get away with this unless some other law enforcement agency such as the FBI coordinates bank robberies, because we all know Westhampton Beach police will have to have her turn herself in or she will have to let people know she did it for this department to crack this case, they still haven't solved the Post Stop Cafe case or the Westhampton Steak house stabbing or shooting as of today.
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Aug 3, 10 1:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Stop picking on our police department-no one could have solved those crimes.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 3, 10 2:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
And you know this how????
By oldguy (60), hamptons on Aug 7, 10 11:53 AM
LOL, she was wearing "slippers"!!!
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 7, 10 7:21 AM
nobody dresses up for anything anymore
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Aug 7, 10 10:12 PM
I bet they do catch this one, plenty of video surveillance in the area, both the bank and 7-11. And slippers before noon in Whatshappening Beach is considered "normal" isn't it ?
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Aug 8, 10 7:39 AM
Was it really necessary to get to that point? There are some jobs out there which someone could find instead of resulting in robbing a bank!!
By hrdygrljr (10), Hampton Bays on Aug 9, 10 11:16 PM
They should catch her I worked for a bank for 7 years we got rob twice, head of security told me a bank is rob everyday in the tri state area and 95% are caught.
By Enjoy LI (5), Mattituck on Aug 11, 10 3:21 PM
They keep Looking and Looking and Looking and Looking.
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Aug 13, 10 1:15 PM
Yes of course they say she got away with it. They said it was 8 million dollars and she wore slippers. I think they searched the airport and caught her. Well anyways i wished she got away.
By Mr Condo (1), queens on Dec 29, 10 4:19 PM