West Tisbury police this week reported that the money stolen during a nighttime burglary of Alley’s General Store and nearby Garcia’s Deli last month has been returned.

Sgt. Dan Rossi said the money was returned by an anonymous third party, not believed to be responsible or involved in the nighttime burglaries of August 18. Mr. Rossi said the unnamed person contacted the person or persons who allegedly robbed the two stores and persuaded them to return the money.

Sergeant Rossi said the investigation is ongoing and arrests are still possible.

“We did not close the book on this, by any means,” he said.

A total of $810 was taken from Garcia’s Deli and $171 from Alley’s. Mr. Rossi said the community’s deep affection for the two stores may have played a role in the return of the money.

“They are like town landmarks, which generated a lot of interest in these robberies. To me this was an example of community policing at its best. The word got around town, and I think someone realized they made a big mistake,” he said.

And he said another positive came out of the burglaries.

“The owners plan to make changes to the buildings to prevent this from happening again,” Sergeant Rossi said.