New York’s “bail reform”: Serial retail theft suspect with 33 prior arrests gets busted again – for 27 more heists


MANHATTAN, NY – A man in New York has recently been arrested and charged with 27 different counts of retail theft. While the number of charges is alarming, the fact that he has had 33 arrests just since August of 2022 and is not behind bars should be jaw-dropping.

Wilfredo Ocasio, 44 years old, was taken into custody in December of 2022 and charged with a total of 27 retail theft charges. Prosecutors allege Ocasio had stolen over $5,000 in merchandise from Duane Reades stores over the last several weeks.

According to the New York Post, this latest arrest is far from the first time Ocasio has had a run-in with the law.

According to their police sources, Ocasio has served two prison sentences after rape and robbery convictions. Additionally, he was arrested in November of 2022 and charged with 33 separate retail thefts from the chain store.

After his arrest in 2022, the prosecutor assigned the case to only file charges on two counts of petit theft instead of the total of 33 charges. At the time, the prosecutor allegedly said that he was only moving forward with two charges because filing on al 33 would be a “waste of resources.”

Waste of resources or not, one thing is certain, there does not seem to be, at least not yet, anything that would deter Ocasio from allegedly stealing more items. After all, there are not any negative consequences, according to Paul DiGiacomo, the president of the New York Police Department’s Endowment Association who said:

“Nobody should be surprised that Mr. Ocasio has been once again arrested – this time on 27 [petit] larceny charges. Why would he stop when there are absolutely no consequences?”

At least with this arrest, prosecutors requested that Ocasio remains in custody pending further court proceedings. During the hearing, Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Jesse Castaneda said:

“The defendant continuously steals property from the same stores. [Ocasio] has demonstrated an unwillingness to abide by the law and all court orders.”

Prosecutors also alleged that Ocasio has been repeatedly stealing items ranging from candy bars to holiday items from Duane Reade outlets on Water Street, Broadway, and Wall Street from November 18th through December 26th. The stores saw a financial loss of over $5000 and those items have not been recovered.

During the hearing, Ocasio’s defense attorney, Geoffrey Bickford, argued his client did not deserve to go to Riker’s Island (jail) because he is a non-violent offender. He argued that Ocasio was in dire need of medical services which would cause him to basically wither away should he be sent to the notorious jail.

Regardless of the defense attorney’s plea to allow Ocasio to remain free, Manhattan Judge Rachel Pauley ordered Ocasio to be held on a $5,000 cash bail or a $15,000 bond. And with that order, Judge Pauley ordered Ocasio to remain in custody until the bond or bail agreements are satisfied or his next court appearance.

If Ocasio’s name sounds familiar to you, there is a good reason why. In December, LET brought you the story when the NYPD Chief of Department and NYPD Police Commissioner were interviewed on Spectrum News NY1 about criminal justice and bail reform. During the interview, Chief Corey said:

“Just this past week [a] detective squad sergeant down in the First Precinct covering lower Manhattan, Soho, Tribeca, Financial District reached out to me to express her frustration over an individual that they had arrested and charged with 21 separate crimes.

“That’s right, that’s 21 different victims, 21 different dates. [Detectives] thought the aggregate at least of that – you victimize 21 people on 21 different occasions – would get him held [until his next court appearance]. It didn’t. He’s released without bail.”

Those comments were made after Ocasio was released on bail and before his most recent arrest. His release at the time and alleged ability to continue his crime spree anger people like DiGiacomo, who, at the time of the interview, said:

“NYPD detectives are second to none at delivering justice to victims. But our city’s crime will only worsen if those they arrest are freed with zero consequences.”

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