DNA helps solve 2-year-old larceny case

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By Landmark News Service

INDEPENDENCE — It took more than two years and a lot of investigative work, but the Independence Police Department finally made an arrest in a larceny case that occurred June 24, 2008.
Cpl. Matthew Adams said DNA evidence led to the arrest of Harold Dean Payne, 54, of Denver, N.C.
Payne is charged with two counts of damaging private property and two counts of grand larceny.
Payne allegedly stole a 1994 Mercury Topaz, owned by Debbie Royal of Independence, and abandoned it in a wooded area on Rainbow Circle in the town. The car sustained about $1,000 in damage.
He is also accused of breaking into a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck used by the maintenance department at Grayson County High School and taking an assortment of tools and for breaking into a van owned by Roy Anders and parked at the high school. An assortment of mechanics' tools were taken from the van.
Adams said police gathered DNA at the crime scene. Payne was later charged in North Carolina and his DNA collected. His DNA matched the Independence case.
Payne was arrested by the Kentucky State Police on outstanding warrants filed by Adams. He waived extradition back to Virginia and is now being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin pending a hearing in Grayson County General District Court.
Besides Adams, Police Chief James Wagoner and Officer Ron Houk helped investigate the case.