Pleasant Plains man
accused of stealing
$50K in checks
from Yeshiva of Staten Island
Yeshiva of Staten Island is located in Pleasant Plains. (Staten Island Advance/Maura Grunlund)
Police identified a person wanted for questioning in the theft -- Yehuda Rubin, 31, of Hallister Street in Pleasant Plains, authorities said.
On Thursday, after a routine car stop led to Rubin's arrest on drug charges, police brought him in for questioning, linked him to the theft and hit him with multiple felony charges.
A law enforcement source familiar with the case said Rubin was a student at the Yeshiva back in 2001, but the head rabbi there didn't recognize him from surveillance footage. A family with the same last name had a recent affiliation with the Yeshiva, though, the source said, and court papers show he lives just a few blocks away.
Rabbi David Ceder, the Yeshiva's head of security, said he had no knowledge of the case.
The criminal complaint against Rubin alleges that Rubin started with smaller amounts, cashing checks for $1,800 or $2,400 in August and September of 2011. By that October, though, the amounts started to grow, and between Oct. 12 and Dec. 14, 2011, he cashed seven checks for $4,000 each, court records show.
He'd cash many of the checks late at night, and, in a few instances, at 2:55 a.m. or 4:34 a.m., and each time, he'd use the Pay-O-Matic at 1813 Kings Highway, police allege.
Rubin referred to the allegations as a "misunderstanding" when questioned by police, the law enforcement source said.
When police arrested him on Thursday, on the 100 block on Pleasant Plains Avenue, not far from his home, he had in his possession marijuana, the painkiller oxycodone, the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam (marketed as Xanax), and amphetamine dextromephetamine (marketed as Adderall), court papers allege.
That led to misdemeanor drug possession charges, while the checks led to multiple counts of second, third- and fourth degree grand larceny, and third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property charges, according to information from District Attorney Daniel Donovan's office.
He was arraigned Friday in Stapleton Criminal Court, where his bail was set at $35,000. He's slated to return to court Wednesday.