Grand Larceny Charge By East Hampton Police

A Shelter Island woman who has racked up a string of arrests across the East End since Memorial Day was taken into custody by East Hampton Town detectives November 6 and charged with felony grand larceny.

According to the complaint, Sarah Payne, 31, cashed six checks from a closed JP Morgan Chase bank account at a cell phone store that also cashes checks on Springs-Fireplace Road between August 10 and 16. East Hampton Town police Detective Sgt. Dan Toia said November 17 that Payne was known to the woman who was cashing the checks, doing so not realizing they were from a defunct account. Police began their investigation shortly thereafter, positively identifying Payne as their suspect once they obtained records from JP Morgan Chase. In the end, Payne cashed fraudulent checks for a total of $3855 from Montoya Communications, with the business being assessed an additional $240 in bank fees, the police said.

Detectives came knocking on her South Ferry Road door the morning of November 6. When she opened the door and the detectives identified themselves, she allegedly told them, “I’ve been waiting for you guys. This is about the checks.” She also told them she had wanted to pay the money back, but had been unable to, according to the complaint.

Her recent string of arrests began on Memorial Day when Southampton Town police charged her with driving while under the influence of drugs as a misdemeanor. Then, on August 1, Payne was arrested by East Hampton Town police on the beach at the end of Barcelona Neck Road. Police said they found a quantity of Xanax and Oxycodone Hydrochloride, both considered controlled substances, in her Michael Kors bag, leading to several misdemeanor drug possession charges. On October 6, she was arrested for the second time by Southampton Town police, this time on a felony grand larceny charge. It is not clear from the charge what Southampton Town police said she stole. Within a day or so of that arrest, Shelter Island police picked her up on another misdemeanor charge of driving with ability impaired by drugs. All these cases are still pending.

After being picked up by East Hampton detectives on the latest charge, Payne was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court November 7, where bail was set at $12,500, with a $25,000 bond alternative. Initially unable to post either, she was taken to county jail in Riverside, from where she was eventually bonded out.

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