42-year-old Michelle Mckelley has now been arrested for the 108th time for repeatedly stealing from a New York Rite Aid store.
But since the arrests are under "petit larceny," New York State law says such misdemeanor crimes aren’t eligible for monetary bail. Court officials have tried placing Mckelley under the care of the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), but this alternative to jail hasn’t stopped the suspect from habitual shoplifting.
According to the New York Post, Mckelley now has 108 arrests attributed to her, following the latest arrest by the NYPD on Wednesday for stealing from the same pharmacy store on ten different occasions since April 21.
A cop complained to the outlet that: "What are they waiting for 200 arrests to hold her? When does it stop? It’s making a mockery of the system."
The grand tally of Mckelley’s sprees from the Rite Aid on Second Avenue and East 96th Street began on April 21st, and she made out of $1375 of stolen goods overall. Highlights include her theft of "10 summer coolers" (worth $350 overall) on April 29th, and she used a suitcase in a May 17th heist and looted "denim leggings, multiple bottles of body wash, a number of air fresheners and other products."
But that was Mckelley’s 108th arrest. Her 107th arrest was three days earlier for stealing from a Target located on Columbus Avenue and 100th street.
When the New York Post caught up with her in February, Mckelley’s arrest count was up to 97. In an interview with the suspect, she said: "basically when you take something, they call that petty larceny. Anything that’s under $1000 is considered petty larceny. Anything that’s over $1000 is considered grand larceny."
Even the red shirt she wore for the interview with the outlet at that time, was stolen. Judge Rachel Pauley wasn’t convinced that Mckelley would comply with supervised release, since Mckelley’s track record also includes 27 failures to appear in court over various prior charges.
Mckelley doesn’t have the high-score for repeat offenders. That honor goes to 39-year-old Jamel Pringle of Queens with 167 arrests, who themselves have targeted the same Rite Aid that Mckelley stole from.
Rite Aid leadership denied earlier this year that they’ve closed stores in New York City because of routine robberies. CVS Pharmacy announced the closure of six locations in San Francisco last year, amid a crime spike of retail thefts on the west coast.
Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg met with retail business leaders in January of this year, in the wake of heightening shoplifting thefts and robberies.