New York – “I want to be a part of it…New York, New York.” Frank Sinatra loved New York. And now, criminals are loving New York as well. However, likely not for the same reason.
Anthony Manson is a serial burglar. During the Christmas shopping season, Manson did his shopping by stealing packages from Brooklyn apartment buildings, helped in no small way by the Andrew Cuomo Criminal Enhancement Act, otherwise known as the new bail reform law.
Manson, 50, was arrested for nine burglaries in Prospect Lefferts-Gardens and Crown Heights on Dec. 23, according to police. He appeared before a judge on Christmas and was released—only to be arrested again for six more burglaries on Jan. 3, police said. Of course, he was released once again, and then decided to visit a Manhattan sunglass store on Wednesday and rip that business off.
So, when Manson went to court, he probably expected that the gig was up. Manson was pleasantly surprised as once again, he walked out of court for the burglary at the Center Stage Optique in the West Village.
Police said that an officer spotted Manson leaving the store at 1:50 a.m. through a broken glass door, while carrying nearly $4,000 worth of sunglasses. In addition, he had a rock—his tool of choice for the burglary—in a suitcase, according to the criminal complaint.
“I’m surprised,” Manson said outside of the Manhattan courthouse, after once again receiving an order of supervised release, his third. “I never could make bail before. I always had to take the alternative: a program or jail.”
“I’m poor. I couldn’t afford to pay no bail. I can’t afford to eat,” he said.
Residents in the Prospect Lefferts-Garden building have said that Manson had been suspected of taking packages in their neighborhood for some time. The Daily News obtained surveillance video which shows a person resembling Manson throwing a rock in a bag through a glass door and grabbing an armload of Amazon packages on both Dec. 20 and Jan. 7. Similarly, footage also captured a man bearing a resemblance to Manson doing the same thing last Tuesday.
“What is happening in our neighborhood is emblematic of what is happening all over the city,” said Sasha Tcherevkoff, who lives in the Prospect Lefferts-Garden building. “Petty criminals are committing crimes. Law enforcement is arresting them, processing them, and putting them right back on the streets, sometimes within hours.”
Tcherevkoff continued, “The detectives and officers at the 71st(precinct) have really done an outstanding job in helping our building address this issue, but quite frankly they are as frustrated and fed up as I am. Bail reform is crushing them and making it nearly impossible for them to keep guys like Manson off the streets.”
Manson was arrested for one of the break-ins at the Prospect building, however the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute him, refusing comment citing an ongoing investigation. A NYPD source said Manson is a suspect in those crimes as well.
Police authorities blame the state’s new bail “reform” law for Manson’s burglary spree. As we’ve reported several times, the law, which took effect Jan. 1 but was actually applied by judges late last year, has substantially limited or eliminated bail for people accused of non-violent crimes such as burglary.
Police are getting fed up.
One NYPD detective said, “With these new laws letting people like this guy go…it’s just becoming a big waste of time. Guys like him will keep coming out and we’ll keep arresting him, but we’re not making a difference anymore,” he said. “You start to feel helpless…when we would grab a guy for property crimes like this guy or a robbery, we would always say, ‘At least we got him off the street.’ That’s not the case anymore.”
Both Cuomo and New York Mayor de Blasio, who supported this abomination, have said that they are open to tweaking the law. Right in time, huh guys? Cuomo called it a “work in progress,” while de Blasio said he would go to Albany to help “improve that bill.” Don’t you think that both of these clowns should have realized what would happen when this law passed? It isn’t like they are rookie politicians. It’s truly stunning that they could not have anticipated the results of what has been done.
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Of course, the social justice warriors dismiss any notion that cases such as Manson’s have any connection to the current bail laws. Not surprising.
“This case has absolutely zero connection to the current bail laws and any suggestion to the contrary represents an orchestrated and cynical attempt to frighten people,” said Redmond Haskins, a spokesman for the Legal Aid Society, which represents Manson. “The court was right to release our client for this non-violent offense instead of remanding him to a cage at Rikers Island. Pretrial incarceration of people who are presumed innocent based solely on their poverty benefits neither those accused nor public safety.”
We have no words.
A resident of one of the buildings that Manson burglarized said in her best virtue-signaling voice that she wasn’t ready to blame bail reform for the crimes at that building.
“It’s a bigger issue than just the new law,” said Andrea, who withheld her last name because as a teacher, she did not want her name published.
Probably also out of embarrassment for making such a ridiculous statement.
Manson has a criminal record of 78 arrests which date back to 1993.
Andrea thinks that Manson needs help.
“Why had he been let go all these years? Watching the (surveillance) video, you can tell something isn’t right…You could see it on his face. He needs help.”
Andrea, hate to break it to you sunshine, but you cannot help people who do not want to help themselves.
Judges no longer have discretion under the new laws to assess factors such as the defendant’s likelihood to re-offend. While New York legislators have spoken of the success of a similar law in New Jersey, that state gives judges discretion to consider other factors.
“The only options I have are release you on your own recognizance and supervised release,” said Manhattan Judge Heidi Cesare at Thursday’s arraignment. Cesare noted Manson’s long criminal history, six missed court appearances and a plethora of pending burglary charges in saying, “I’m not confident you will return to court. Mr. Manson, I hope you prove me wrong.”
Here is betting that Mr. Manson will be back under arrest, sooner than later.
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