New York socialite nabbed for high end shoplifting

New York socialite nabbed for high end shoplifting

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Last week, a sharp-eyed Vineyard Haven store manager helped police nab a woman responsible for the theft of an expensive cashmere sweater from a Menemsha clothing shop. In the process, police recovered a necklace and an embroidered shirt stolen from the manager’s own workplace.

On Thursday, August 30, police arrested Joelle F. Hyland-O’Reilly, a well-heeled shoplifter from Bedford Hills, New York, when she and her family arrived in Vineyard Haven to board the 9:30 pm ferry to Woods Hole.

On Martha’s Vineyard, the retail community looks out for one another, one merchant said, shoplifting is the bane of the summer, and word gets around.

Last Thursday, when a family walked into the Green Room to buy a paddle board, Belinda Ritchie thought she recognized the distinctive sweater the woman customer was wearing. It was identical to a charcoal grey cashmere sweater, with the image of a fox embroidered with silver thread on the back, she knew was stolen from a friend’s shop in Menemsha.

While her husband purchased the paddle board, Ms. Hyland-O’Reilly took items, including an embroidered shirt, into the dressing room. The shirt was later found to be missing, according to Tisbury police Officer Jeff Day’s report. Store employees helped the family load the paddle board on top of their Mercedes Benz SUV.

Ms. Ritchie called her friend Carla Felter, manager of Pandora’s Box in Menemsha. Ms. Felter went straight to the Tisbury Police station.

About 8 pm, Officer Day called Chilmark police to say there was a lead in the stolen sweater case. Police also learned from store employees that the family planned to leave on the 9:30 pm ferry that evening.

Chief Cioffi, along with Chilmark Officer Elizabeth Elwell and Tisbury Officer Scott Ogden, went to the ferry terminal to wait. When the family arrived they were asked to park their car in an unoccupied lane.

Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland, still wearing the sweater, first told Chief Cioffi she had bought the sweater online. She then said she bought it in Woodstock, New York.

“At this point, I advised Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland of her Miranda warnings and told her that I didn’t believe her story about where she got the sweater,” Chief Cioffi wrote in his report.

Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland admitted to stealing the sweater and agreed to pay restitution. “She stated that she really liked the sweater and was concerned that her husband would be upset if she kept spending money,” Mr. Cioffi wrote in his report.

The embroidered shirt with a Green Room price tag of $96 was found in the SUV’s front passenger compartment.

“After questioning,” Officer Day wrote in his report, “Mrs. O’Reilly admitted to stealing the shirt. She stated that she had asked the Green Room manager to sell the paddle board for 50 percent off. When she refused, she felt that taking the shirt was payback for them not giving her the discount for the paddle board.”

Chief Cioffi arrested Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland for larceny of goods valued at more than $250 and wanton destruction of property, based on damage to the cashmere sweater caused when she removed the electronic anti-theft tag. She was taken to the Dukes County Jail that night and released just after midnight on $300 bail.

Chief Cioffi was in court when Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland was arraigned Friday morning, August 31. He said he was later surprised to learn that, at the request of Edgartown lawyer Martin Tomassian and with the agreement of assistant district attorney Tucker Greene, before the morning roll ended, Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland’s earlier arraignment, witnessed by Chief Cioffi, was expunged from the court record. Chief Cioffi learned that the arraignment had been stricken from the record so that it could be rescheduled to September 24.

Later on Friday, Tisbury Detective Mark Santon called Mr. Tomassian to say that he had learned of a $36 necklace missing from the Green Room. “I advised attorney Tomassian that if an admission was made by the defendant that she took the necklace and would produce it to the police, I would not seek an additional charge of shoplifting,” Detective Santon wrote in a report. Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland admitted to the theft and said she would return the necklace when she returns to the Island for a pretrial conference.

Carla Felter, manager of Pandora’s Box for more than six years, said she first noticed the sweater missing after Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland had left the store. She said theft is always upsetting, and it affects the livelihood of small business owners across the Island.

“I am just very grateful for the police. They made it super comfortable and easy and were willing to help, so it was really nice,” Ms. Felter said. And, she added, “I couldn’t have done it without [Ms. Ritchie]; she saved the day.”

Green Room manager Belinda Ritchie described the shoplifting incident as very unfortunate. She said Chilmark and Tisbury police “were great, definitely helpful and very supportive.”

On the strength of her biography, Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland would seem to be an unlikely shoplifter. She is co-founder and managing partner of Ounavarra Capital LLC, “an independent investment boutique focused on providing clients with superior service,” according to the company website. She is also the founder and owner of Ounavarra Capital Inc, a minority/woman owned consulting and advisory firm.

In 1994, she founded Minerva Capital Management Ltd., a fund trading in global equities and convertible and high yield opportunities after trading and then managing a portfolio for Pier Funds for two years, beginning in 1992, according to a company biography. She is also on the board of Educate Girls Globally, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving education for girls in the developing world.


  1. Good job on calling out this privileged thief! Everybody else gets their arrest, arraignment and conviction recorded for all to see. This prat gets even the arraignment expunged. The privileged in this world get it all swept under the rug so no one can see them for who they really are and the rest of us get run through the wringer of the legal system. Apparently we are not all equal under the law. Remember the revolution people sang about in the 1960’s and 70’s? Its getting closer.

    Its time for an Dukes County District Attorney who lives on the island and is responsible to the people of the island. The off-island bums who currently have the responsibility have dropped the ball time and time again. By the way, has anyone checked Tucker Greene’s bank account recently? That boy is well on his way to early retirement on a private beach somewhere.

  2. The Supreme Court in Washington, DC has the following motto carved in stone on the front; “Equal Justice Under Law”. Somebody aught to put up a “For Sale” sign in front of the Martha’s Vineyard Courthouse. There’s nothing equal about the justice practiced there.

  3. I’m glad someone had a good experience with the Tisbury police. My experience this summer did not go as well. My son was struck by a driver who quickly threw his vehicle into reverse on State Road incurring over $5,000 of damage to my son’s car. The police arrived on the scene, stating they had no reports with them and would write the report the following day. The driver received a citation but in the report it was written that my son “failed to yield to the other vehicle”. Hmmm, my son was somehow supposed to know this person was going to suddenly put their vehicle in reverse, which is illegal on a state highway. That simple statement, which the Tisbury police refused to change, even after many, many conversations, allowed the driver’s insurance company to refuse to pay for the damages. Now both companies are involved in arbitration, which only increases insurance premiums for everyone.

    1. All reports have to be picked up later. They take the info and complete on the computer. You only can get basic info at the scene. Can’t comment on the rest.

    2. What does this have to do with the story at hand? Mr. Moderator, can’t we have at least some remote connection between a post and the actual article?

  4. How about a booking picture from the trip to the jail so that other shopkeepers can protect themselves?

    1. You can find her picture on FaceBook easily enough, although it lists her name as Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland, instead of Hyland-O’Reilly.

    2. I saw her picture on facebook, she is a hot looking blonde chick! Of course, good looking people get a pass while ugly people stay in jail.

  5. Interesting story. Not sure why the background of the criminal is relevant. Pretty sure no one is stealing bread for their family on the island.

    1. Although this is a real gem:

      • Paul O’Reilly-Hyland and Joelle Wyser-Pratte, who are both managing
      partners at Ounavarra Capital, have put their 4,700-square-foot Sutton
      Place townhouse on the market. The renovated manse at 3 Riverview
      Terrace is currently listed for $19 million.

      1. One of the web sites related to this pair shows that Joelle is also a competitive dressage horseback rider. Nothing wrong with that, but it kind of fits in with her tony lifestyle. With a house worth $19 million, she could have afforded to buy ten of those cashmere sweaters!

      2. Exchuuuuuse Meeeeeeeeeeeee Where are the island’s Occupy folks?——————————- (Facebook page – —)

        Joelle O Reilly-Hyland
        Please stop by my house at 3 Riverview Terrace, 58th Street & the East River, to see my dear and super chic friend Kelly Cushing’s fabulous women’s collection (vintage fabrics, colors/solids/prints), Italian activewear line Anatomie, & vintage sunglasses. Today until 7, tomorrow until 4 or 5. She is also here until Monday, so you can set up an appt with her too! Rsvp to Beth at, Kelly at or just come by!!!!

        1. Maybe some of those folks who “stop by” Joelle’s pad will find a way to liberate some of her trinkets! Inviting everyone into one’s home on Facebook is a crazy thing to do. I wonder if her husband knows about this.

    1. I wonder if she’s ever met Dainielle Pendergraft? Perhaps they’ll share a jail cell one day. They’ll have oodles to talk about!

  6. This mini shoplifting spree didn’t start during her brief stay on M.V. I bet she has been doing this since she was a teen. Of course we would have no way of determining that for sure since any prior arrests and convictions would have been expunged from her spotless record just like her recent arraignment. I’m sure the D.A. will cooperate so she’ll get probabtion. Can’t you already hear her attorney citing all of her community works and philanthropic work? She’ll make restitution, shed a few forced tears for the judge and won’t even get a wrist slap. Done deal!

  7. Oh she did it for a thrill! No matter how much money you have, getting something for free is exciting!

  8. Hey Skip, it’s been a long road from the deli! If I were you I would demand cash payment from this loser.
    I hope she has to pay restitution plus extra to pay for survailence cams in the stores she ripped off. Just seems fair to me.

  9. Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland runs an “investment boutique,” so she must have the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Series 7 and 63 licenses, which are required of all who broker or deal in securities. Conviction of all felonies and certain misdemeanors results in the termination of those licenses. I wonder if Ms. O’Reilly-Hyland thought about how she was jeopardizing her career when she allegedly shoplifted the sweater, shirt and neckace?

    Her arraignment should not have been expunged from the court record. That reeks of preferential treatment. Instead, she should have gone through the same process as anyone else who is accused of similar crimes.

    She was “concerned that her husband would be upset if she kept spending money.” He was no doubt more upset when he had to spend $300 to bail her out of jail at midnight!

    1. Her only issue is that she does not like paying . She thinks the world owes her.

        1. Never make a mistake? Neve have a family member of friend get in trouble? You’re pretty brave talking shit on the Internet. I’m a woman, but if I were in front of you I would punch you in your big mouths. Losers.

          At least she has done a lot of good in the world. I challenge a single one of you trash talkers to show any charitable work you’ve ever done.

          Show me. Anyone of you trash talkers who have done 1% of what she has done. Vicious cowards and rash talking losers. That’s what you are. I can track you down on Facebook too and alert your family and wives and husbands too all mistakes.

          Read the bible and learn a bit about judgment. Sad.

    1. In the internet age, the press release linked above is a futile display of hubris, i.e. “extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.”

    2. I read the article to which you linked us. I find it impossible to believe that Joelle became a portfolio manager just one year after receiving her undergraduate degree in English and international studies. I worked in finance for 15 years, and that just doesn’t happen.
      The article in your link was just a puff piece designed to bolster her flagging reputation. I would not trust that woman with one penny of my investments!

  10. Perhaps she is celebrating her twenty years in finance with a little shopping spree on MV. I’m quite surprised that while she is doing damage control with her recent paid internet puff piece that someone hasn’t emailed the link on the Times story to both the New York Post and the New York Daily News. Spin that, Joelle!