QUEENSBURY — A Connecticut woman who police said was part of a group that was stealing wallets and purses from employees at businesses in Warren County last year has been charged with bail-jumping after she failed to show up for court.
Kayana M. Santos, 26, of Waterbury, Connecticut, was arrested in Queensbury in April 2018 after she and a friend went into employee areas of two restaurants and a nail salon to steal employee credit cards and cash, police said.
Santos was released on bail bond a few days after her arrest, but failed to show up for court late last year. So a Warren County grand jury indicted her for felony bail-jumping and she also faces grand larceny, conspiracy and lesser charges for the thefts from businesses in Glens Falls and Queensbury.
Police said Santos and Tabatha M. Garofalo, 36, worked to distract employees at the businesses while one of the duo went into employee areas to loot valuables. Garofalo pleaded guilty to three felony grand larceny charges, and was sentenced to 4.5 years in state prison.
Authorities said the duo also was suspected in similar thefts in Albany, Columbia and Saratoga counties, but it was unclear whether charges were brought in those counties.
Santos was located in Connecticut in February and has been held in Warren County Jail since then.
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Santos has pleaded not guilty and was in Warren County Court on Wednesday as her lawyer negotiated with prosecutors to try to resolve her charges.
She has been offered a variety of plea deals that would include a sentence in Warren County Jail and 5 years on probation for guilty pleas to felony bail-jumping and two misdemeanor theft-related counts.
But she was not willing to accept any of the plea offers that were made. Her lawyer, Warren County Public Defender Marcy Flores, told Warren County Judge John Hall that Santos was concerned she would not be out of jail in time to start college classes next month.
She also had concerns about prosecutors seeking to seize money that she had with her at the time of the arrest.
Hall said it was great that she planned to go to college, but he has deadlines and felony cases have to go to trial within 6 months of indictment unless the defense waives delays. So he scheduled a trial in the case to start Oct. 7, although he gave Santos another week to try to work out a plea deal.
Santos faces up to 4 years in state prison on the grand larceny and bail-jumping charges.