hamptons local events, express news group

Story - News

Jun 7, 2019 1:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Jitney Mechanic Charged With Stealing Parts From Bus Company

A Hampton Jitney mechanic was accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of parts from the bus company, according to court documents. GREG WEHNER
Jun 10, 2019 4:09 PM

A Hampton Jitney employee was arrested in May after Riverhead Town Police said he stole tens of thousands of dollars of parts from the Calverton-based bus company over the course of three months.

According to court documents, Brett Betheil, 48, of Miller Place, who worked as a bus mechanic for the Jitney, stole numerous bus replacement parts, including an evaporator motor, starter, coolant pipes, A/C hoses, fan blades, clamps, bushings, brake pads, rotors, shocks, a steering wheel and a can of freon, in March and April. The total value of the stolen parts amounts to $21,149.

On May 25 at 5:31 a.m., documents show, Mr. Betheil was arrested by Riverhead Town Police at the Hampton Jitney headquarters in Calverton after taking additional parts, including blower motors, brake calipers, electric valves and electrical relays, with a total value of $8,347.

Mr. Betheil was charged with two counts of third-degree grand larceny, a class A misdemeanor, and taken to Riverhead Town Justice Court, where he was processed and arraigned.

Two days after the arrest, a memo was distributed to all Hampton Jitney employees from CEO Geoff Lynch, informing them of Mr. Betheil’s arrest. In the memo, he said the bus company had been working with local law enforcement to track Mr. Betheil’s “suspicious behavior” while he was on the clock.

Mr. Lynch said in the memo that it was not clear whether Mr. Betheil had acted alone, and that the investigation was ongoing.

“It has been terribly disheartening to learn of this breach of trust, particularly from a veteran employee,” he said in the memo. “We had invested a lot into Brett—if he had spent at least a third of the time doing what he was supposed to rather than scheming, we probably would have a much better performing fleet. Stealing from your employer is not a victimless crime—it affects all of us.

“Whether an employee is stealing company, employee or customer property, or just ripping off hours, that person is harming our company’s reputation and impairing us financially. That person will be caught and brought to justice,” he added.

Mr. Lynch on Friday declined to comment on the arrest, saying he couldn’t comment on a criminal matter.

Mr. Betheil is expected to be back in Riverhead Town Justice Court on June 25.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in