ITHACA, N.Y.—The Ithaca Police Department has arrested a man on charges of stolen property possession after theft of a vehicle and purse Tuesday evening.

At around 6:50 p.m., police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle at a construction site at 130 Cherry Street. The vehicle was owned by a worker at the site, and was described as an early 2000s black pick-up truck. Around 7:30 p.m., while officers searched the area for the vehicle, police said they received a report of a stolen purse from a vehicle in the 300 block of Elmira Road, with the suspect driving a dark colored pick-up truck from the crime.

Ten minutes later, Ithaca police found the vehicle that was originally reported as stolen from the construction site. It was located near North Plain Street and West Seneca Street in downtown Ithaca, and the suspect initially tried to flee the scene but was arrested without incident. Police said they found the contents of the stolen purse in the stolen vehicle.

They then charged the man, identified as Joseph Payne, 40, of Ithaca, with fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property, which is a Class E felony. He was arraigned in Ithaca City Court and was subsequently remanded to the Tompkins County Jail.

The Ithaca Police Department said he was not charged with the initial vehicle theft because the victim declined to press charges.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at