Tuesday July 10, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- The midday theft of a cash box from an antique store on Sunday prompted an intensive search operation by police, who were ultimately unable to turn up any suspects.

Tommy Mattson, the owner of the store, Antiques, located in the Jenifer House Commons on Stockbridge Road, said he was helping a customer when a man came in the store, grabbed the box of money, and left on foot.

Mattson called police, who responded in force, bringing in a search dog, back-up from nearby towns and even requesting a state police helicopter, which was unable to respond because it was grounded for maintenance at the time, according to police logs.

Their search led them across Route 7 to the banks of the Housatonic River. Employees at a nearby cafe said they saw officers jumping fences and running toward a wooded swampy area abutting the river.

Mattson said the box contained less than $100 along with several checks made out to the store. He called the theft disconcerting, but said he appreciated the police department's vigorous response.

"They put the big effort in -- I give them credit," Mattson said.

Police officers confirmed no arrests were made, but declined to release any information about the search on Sunday night. On Monday morning, no ranking officers were available for comment.