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May 7, 2014 4:27 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

In Hampton Bays, Wildlife Center Seeks Return Of Stolen Gift Cards

May 14, 2014 9:58 AM

Approximately $10,000 worth of gift certificates were stolen from the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays last week, according to Cheryl Steinhauer, development director at the nonprofit center on West Montauk Highway, who is asking that they simply be returned.

The first person arriving at work last Wednesday, May 7, discovered that the center had been broken into when someone pried open an exterior door. The thief then entered Ms. Steinhauer’s locked office—“I guess they pried the door open with a knife,” she said—and removed a folder containing the gift cards from her desk sometime between 7 p.m. on May 6 and 7:30 a.m. on May 7.

Among them were a one-year family membership to the Parrish Art Museum, an overnight stay at Oheka Castle in Huntington, lunch and ice cream at Sip ‘N’ Soda in Southampton Village, a meal at North Fork Table and Inn in Southold, and tickets to the theater, Hampton Jitney and the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead.

In total, 52 gift cards were stolen, along with $30 in cash from a charity jar, and a dozen bottles of Martha Clara merlot.

“Oh my goodness,” Ms. Steinhauer said, “it was some very nice stuff.”

Over a period of several months, center employees had asked local merchants, as well as a few in New York City, to make the donations. The gifts were to be the bounty at a silent auction this Friday, May 16, at the wildlife center’s Spring Fling fundraiser, as well as at a Chinese auction at the Southampton Elks Club on June 8.

The money raised at both events is slated to help the center continue its work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing injured, sick and orphaned wildlife.

Police dusted for prints and might be able to use ticket numbers to track down the thief, but Ms. Steinhauer said she really just wants the gift certificates returned so that the center can use them to raise money for its work. Anyone with knowledge of their whereabouts is asked to call (631) 728-4200.

Southampton Town Police Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa said Tuesday that the incident remains under investigation and noted that there are no suspects at this time.

She added that once all of the stolen items are accounted for as part of an itemized list, detectives will put out a Crime Stoppers alert so that the public can be on the lookout for the stolen goods, particularly the numerous gift cards.

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Animals and medications kept in a facility with no alarm system?
By bambi (68), bridgehampton on May 8, 14 6:45 AM
I agree bambi lets hope this changes
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on May 8, 14 7:05 PM
Yes, there is an alarm system. Creeps gone before guard arrived.
By landofgg (2), Sag Harbor on May 8, 14 8:29 PM
Thats what you got out of this article Bambi - no alarm. The animals are in cages and do you think an alarm is going to stop anyone who wants to steal medications of any sort. I hope whomever stole the cards gives them back.
By jacks (70), hampton bays on May 9, 14 8:49 AM
Us at Tele-Pak Inc. would like to like to help your company get though this hard time. We are a plastic card printing company and would like to assist the Wildlife Center by reprinting your stolen cards and replacing the cards that could be replaced. our website is www.cardprinting.us or call us directly at 845-426-2300
By JasonTP (2), monsey on May 9, 14 12:15 PM
free of charge
By JasonTP (2), monsey on May 9, 14 12:15 PM