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Springs Robber Skipped Sentencing

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 08:27

Jay Rowe of Springs, convicted in March of armed robbery, grand larceny, and kidnapping, turned himself in to officials at Suffolk Criminal Court in Riverside on Monday. According to East Hampton Town Police Capt. Chris Anderson, Mr. Rowe had failed to show up at his July 27 sentencing hearing.

Mr. Rowe, 48, has been remanded without bail to the county jail in Yaphank pending his sentencing hearing before Suffolk Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro, which is now scheduled for next Thursday, according to the County District Attorney's office.

On March 8, 2021, Mr. Rowe approached a woman, also a Springs resident, in the Springs School parking lot, displayed a handgun, and told her to drive to nearby Shipyard Lane, a dead-end road. The woman, who is in her late 30s, has not been identified. After robbing her, he fled on foot with what the victim told police was $8,000, along with her cellphone.

A county K-9 unit and police helicopter joined town police in the search for Mr. Rowe, who eventually surrendered to authorities in Massachusetts. He was ultimately indicted on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, and fourth-degree grand larceny.

His attorney, Colin Astarita, initially argued that police had arrested the wrong man. The victim had described him as 5-foot-5 and weighing about 150 pounds. Mr. Astarita said his client was closer to 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounds.

The incident had begun at a local bank, where the woman was taking out money, and police identified Mr. Rowe as being at the bank at the same time, thanks to security-camera footage showing him wearing a camouflage hoodie. After a two-week investigation, during which his DNA was found in the glove box of the victim's car, police secured an indictment.

Mr. Rowe pleaded guilty to the three felony charges in March, while out on bail. He was ordered to repay the victim $3,045. He initially faced up to nine-and-a-half years in prison, plus five years of post-release supervision, but he may now face additional time after skipping his sentencing. Mr. Astarita did not immediately return calls or text messages seeking comment.

Mr. Rowe was a self-employed mechanic before his run-in with the law. He is married with four children.
The brazen midafternoon crime had jolted the Springs community, which saw their school briefly initiate security-lockdown protocols during the incident.

With reporting by Tom Gogola, Christine Sampson, and Bella Lewis

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