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Sep 15, 2009 7:51 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Sculpture stolen from Madoff property

Sep 15, 2009 7:51 PM

Someone in Montauk snatched an odd memento from the former oceanfront property of the world’s biggest con-man last week.

On Saturday afternoon, Robert Schorr, the caretaker of the former home of Bernie and Ruth Madoff, reported to East Hampton Town Police that a 4-foot steel sculpture, an Aztec 
replica, was missing from the front porch of the house at 216 Old Montauk Highway.

The sculpture was tagged with an FBI number because the federal government had seized the property and all its scattered remains in July. Joan and Raymond Hegner of the Corcoran Group landed the $8.75 million listing and the house went on the market on September 1. Proceeds from the sale will be given to the victims of Mr. Madoff’s $60 billion Ponzi scheme.

Mr. Schorr, a retired police officer, said the theft occurred between Thursday at 11 a.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. The sculpture was valued at $900 in the police report, although Mr. Schorr said that the police had given it that value because he had no idea what it was worth. “Maybe more, maybe less,” he said. He said it was one of three similar sculptures on the property. “It was an old, rusty thing that was in the garden with two others.”

East Hampton Town Police Captain Eddie Ecker said his officers were investigating the larceny. He said the police department had not heard from the federal marshal’s office regarding the sculpture and calls to the 
federal marshal’s office were not returned.

Mr. Schorr, who was the caretaker of the Madoff property for 18 years, said this was the first incidence of theft. “It’s been pretty safe there,” he said. “No vandalism.” He now is working for the government, who hired him to continue watching the property. But there’s a chance the property already has a new owner, as Sunday was the last day for bids, Mr. Schorr said.

As far as suspects, he said he had no idea who would’ve stolen the sculpture. “People are funny, you know,” he said. “It’s probably on eBay.”

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