Two Soros-funded prosecutors went easy on “serial looter” who committed multiple grand larcenies, assaulted a cop

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VIRGINIA –  A serial looter who committed several grand larcenies and even assaulted a police officer has served no time in jail. Now blame is being placed on two prosecutors who instituted bail reform policies.

According to a report by The Washington Free Beacon, Ronald Thomas, 25, spent virtually no time in jail after his arrests due to bail reform policies instituted by Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano (D) and Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (D).

Both prosecutors received donations from Democratic mega-donor George Soros, according to the report.

Since 2020, both prosecutors allegedly dismissed or declined to prosecute Thomas, a Maryland resident, for nearly a dozen charges related to larceny in the suburban Washington, D.C. area.

According to the report:

“The looting incidents amounted to thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise and include felony offenses, including two grand larcenies and one assault on a police officer, making the offender eligible for years behind bars.

Deputy under investigation for alleged "choke hold" that he used while trying to stop a criminal who was attacking him

“The prosecutors found the looter guilty of just a few misdemeanors. No verdict levied more than a few hundred dollars in fines, and he served no time in prison.”

Thomas was charged at least five times for committing crimes in one jurisdiction while on pretrial release in another. The same report noted:

“He was twice charged for committing larcenies within a day of having similar larceny charges dropped—with one of those incidents happening in the same county.

“The case exemplifies the degree to which lightened sentencing can embolden repeat offenders.

“Studies have shown that releasing defendants before their trial increases crime. A few years after Cook County, Ill., instituted bail reform, a 2020 study by the University of Utah found a 45 percent increase in the number of released defendants who were charged with committing new crimes and a 33 percent bump in released defendants charged with violent crimes.”

Rafael Mangual, a senior fellow and head of research for policing and public safety at the Manhattan Institute, told The Washington Free Beacon:

“When you lower the likelihood of pretrial detention through bail reform, you increase the number of pretrial defendants who are going to be out on the street. There’s going to be an increase in crime.”

Mangual also pointed out that there is an unadvertised overlap between nonviolent and violent crimes that are committed by offenders:

“You always hear about the nonviolent drug offender or the nonviolent property crime. The reality is that there’s actually a lot of overlap between who commits violent offenses and who commits lower-level misdemeanors.”

In Thomas’ case, there was an overlap as well. In between when his Virginia cases were opened and dropped, he was charged with theft, robbery and assault in nearby Maryland.

Soros donated more than $500,000 to Descano’s and Dehghani-Tafti’s 2019 campaigns, which resulted in helping them oust veteran prosecutors who had served a combined 60 years in their counties.

The Washington Free Beacon reported:

“Both [candidates] ran on a progressive criminal justice platform, promising to end cash bail in most cases and reduce incarceration.

“They’ve kept those promises and pointed to a general crime decrease as proof of their platform’s success. Their critics have countered that fewer convictions can mask the true crime rate.”

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) suggested to The Washington Free Beacon that the public was being duped:

“You can’t claim crime has decreased when you’ve also bragged about not prosecuting over 20 types of crimes. The crime hasn’t gone away—only the prosecution.”

Miyares also criticized the prosecutors:

“Just because a crime is ‘nonviolent’ does not mean there was no victim or that no innocent life has been affected.

“These far-left prosecutors repeatedly dropped charges against a serial larcenist and allowed him to commit more crimes and victimize more Virginians because they prioritize ideology instead of public safety.”

Neither prosecutor responded to The Washington Free Beacon’s request for comments.

Since the “Summer of Love” in 2020, several other liberal states have tolerated looting and have even passed laws that help criminals instead of hindering them, arguing that those policies are meant to alleviate racism.

For example, The Washington Free Beacon pointed out that states such as New York and New Jersey have passed laws allowing for pretrial release in most cases and that others have become copycats:

 

“Cities including Philadelphia and San Francisco have followed suit. San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin (D.) abolished cash bail in 2020 and has opposed many felony convictions, including for drug-dealing charges, robberies, and larceny. The liberal prosecutor is now facing a recall effort amid a spike in homicides, violent shootingsoverdoses, and retail theft.”

In Virginia, under former Democratic governor Ralph Northam, the law for larceny sentencing was changed in July of 2020. The felony threshold was changed from $500 to $1,000, giving criminals an increased opportunity to steal more goods.

Beacon’s report noted:

“Liberal criminal justice reform groups such as Justice Forward Virginia and the Virginia ACLU had long advocated for the move.

“Justice Forward in 2021 also backed ending third-strike felonies for petit larceny, noting the ‘disparate racial and economic impacts that such legislation creates among people of color and the poor.’”

Predictably, criminals such as Thomas took advantage of the lax attitudes toward looting, which some spun as a “joyous and liberatory” activity, and carried out larceny sprees with no fear of harsh consequences.

According to the same report:

“Even given the raised sentencing threshold in Virginia, one of the grand larcenies Thomas allegedly committed in Fairfax totaled $4,000—more than four times the new felony threshold.

“Former members of the Fairfax County commonwealth’s attorneys’ office who spoke with the Free Beacon said choosing not to prosecute felony grand larcenies is rare.”

Thomas was extradited to Montgomery County, in Maryland, on May 24, according to the Fairfax County Detention Center. He is set to stand trial in June on charges of second-degree assault, theft, and robbery, as well as in July on charges of theft valued at more than $1,500.

Thomas was also charged in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in 2020 for theft, only to have those charges dropped a year later, according to Beacon’s report.

Beacon also wrote:

“Politicians, activists, and writers on the left defended the practice during riots around race that summer in America’s cities.

“In one notable example, NPR interviewed the writer Vicky Osterweil, whose 2019 book In Defense of Looting argued the practice was a ‘joyous and liberatory’ response to the injustices of a ‘cisheteropatriarchal racial capitalist society.’

“Reports showed many looters came from out of state to participate and often escaped without charges—an outcome underwritten by progressive bail laws and lightened sentencing guidelines.”

According to Beacon’s report, Arlington County has yet to publish its 2021 annual crime report:

“In 2020, property destruction, auto theft, robbery, and assault all rose in the county. Fairfax County in 2021 saw an uptick in violent crimes, including a 40 percent increase in homicide.

“The Free Beacon reported in March how Descano’s office in 2021 dropped felony charges on a man arrested for attempting to abduct and defile a hotel housekeeper.

“One year later, the man was arrested again after he allegedly killed two homeless men and wounded three others during a nine-day shooting spree in D.C. and New York City.”

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