New York shoplifter gets 100th bust and is released without bail, again

Progressive leaders pride themselves on their forward-thinking as they embrace woke ideologies for guidance in policy making. Now it seems the soft-on-crime reforms that have driven crime up in cities like New York have led at least one repeat offender to dub herself a “professional booster” who was released again after what may have been her 100th arrest.

Saturday at a CVS in Lower Manhattan, 42-year-old Michelle McKelley was arrested for allegedly making off with $125 worth of merchandise. Prosecutors said in the criminal complaint that the suspect had “grabbed bars of cocoa butter, chocolate bars and soap” that were stuffed in a duffle bag before she “scurried out of the store,” the New York Post reported.

Evidently, McKelley has made a career of shoplifting and went as far as to describe herself to cops as a “professional booster.” This vocation has been facilitated by 2019 state reforms and the furtherance of criminal-friendly policies by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that allowed for the suspect to be set free on supervised release because the charges brought against her do not qualify for bail.

This decision was upheld by Manhattan Judge Charlotte Davidson despite the fact that McKelley had been arrested and set loose as recently as Thursday for stealing from a Duane Reade in East Harlem. In that incident, reported by the Post to be her 99th arrest, the suspect “was charged with robbery, attempted petit larceny and criminal possession of a weapon.”

Prosecutors reported to Manhattan Criminal Court Sunday that McKelley has failed to appear in court 27 times for prior arrests and there were five pending cases for her. Still, the judge allowed the supervised release to proceed.

The suspect had further been charged in May with robbing a Rite Aid on the Upper East Side 10 times and a discrepancy between officers and court officials could not determine the East Harlem Duane Reade arrest marked her 99th or 108th. In either case, the alleged theft from CVS Saturday assured that the “professional booster” had entered triple digits in the arrest column.

Her prolific career led her to bragging during an alleged theft at a Target in February that “I haven’t got caught in a long time.” McKelley said at the time the reason was, “I have to get a new outfit.”

According to NYPD crime statistics for May 2022, robbery, burglary and grand larceny have all continued to climb. Compared to May 2021 there have been increases of 26.2, 28.3 and 42.1 percent respectively. Those numbers include an increase of around 300 incidents for both robbery and burglary and more than 1,200 occurrences of grand larceny.

The resulting increases in crime in other cities run by progressives have led to the successful recall of San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin and a second effort to unseat Los Angeles County DA George Gascón. Bragg has also repeatedly been asked to step down by concerned and grieving citizens for his handling of the cities crime.

When asked by the Post if there was another profession that she could do instead of being a “professional booster,” McKelley responded that she “would be a caretaker for old people” since she used to do that. The outlet followed up and asked what happened that made her stop, to which she replied, “Life.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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