A 42-year-old Springs man is facing felony charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after being arrested by East Hampton Village police May 10. Jan Robert Gutierrez is accused of stealing a Combicut wet tile saw 250 VA from outside a house on Church Street where renovations are being done to the interior.
The police said the theft occurred late afternoon, May 8. One of the workers in the house, José Leon, had brought the table saw outside, and leaned it against a tree. According to the statement Gutierrez made to police, he was driving a 1995 Dodge Ram truck on Church Street, headed towards the Riverhead Building Supply warehouse on Railroad Avenue when he noticed the table saw.
He said he thought it was abandoned.
Gutierrez told East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana during his arraignment on May 11 that he is a carpenter and a stone mason.
Gutierrez said in his statement that he looked around for a work vehicle, to see if the saw belonged to a company, but saw none.
He was represented by Carl Irace during his arraignment. Irace said that Gutierrez drove by the table saw three times. When he got out of his vehicle to examine it, Irace said, Gutierrez noticed there were knobs missing on the saw, confirming in his mind that it had been abandoned. He took the saw home and tested it.
When he discovered it was in working order, he wondered for a moment, Gutierrez told police, whether it might have belonged to someone. However, after discussing the matter with his son, they decided that it had to be abandoned because it had been left on the side of the road.
According to Detective Sgt. Greg Brown of the East Hampton Village police, after Leon reported the saw stolen, police were able to identify the pickup truck involved. According to the arrest report released by police, detectives relied on surveillance video.
The location of where the saw was taken from faces the back of John Marshall Elementary School. Detective Brown would not comment as to whether exterior surveillance video from the school was accessed by the police as part of the investigation.
The district attorney’s office asked bail to be set at $15,000. Irace said that his client “hasn’t had so much as a traffic ticket,” had his family in court, and was not a flight risk. “He thought it was abandoned on the side of the road,” Irace told Justice Rana. He also questioned the actual value of the saw, and whether the alleged theft actually rose to the level that would justify a felony charge of grand larceny.
Bail was set at $3000, which was posted.