NYC career shoplifter with 100 arrests finally held on bail – not for latest heist but allegedly assaulting cop

Self-described “professional booster,” Michelle McKelley is finally behind bars in New York City, and it only took 100 arrests for her to get there.

McKelley made national headlines for repeatedly ripping off stores, getting caught, and, thanks to soft-on-crime policies in the Big Apple, being repeatedly released with bail.

As BizPac Review reported in late June, the 42-year-old career criminal was collared for the hundredth time after allegedly making off with $125 worth of CVS merchandise. Days earlier, she had been charged with robbery, attempted petit larceny, and criminal possession of a weapon before being set loose.

At a hearing for her 100th arrest, prosecutors told the Manhattan Criminal Court that McKelley had failed to appear in court 27 times for prior arrests and five of her cases were pending.

Still, under the progressive policies of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, McKelley’s crimes did not qualify for bail, and she was once again released.

All that changed on Friday, after McKelley hit the Duane Reade at West 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, according to the New York Post.

After the cocky con lifted paper towels from the store, the cops were called, and this time, police report, McKelley fought back, “kicking, biting, scratching and spitting” at her arresting officers.

Court documents reveal that McKelley even bit one female officer on her left shoulder. Both of the assaulted officers were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for treatment.

In addition to charges of petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, McKelley was hit with two counts of assault in the second degree — charges that finally allowed the city to hold her. According to court records, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office asked for a $25,000 bond, and bail was set at $5,000.

As of Sunday, the “professional booster” was sitting in a cell at Rikers Island.

Complicating New York’s crime problem is a staffing problem.

The revolving door created by 2019 state reforms has led to an exodus of hundreds of NYC prosecutors who have quit over the city’s “woke” policies, American Wire reported in late June.

Just two weeks into his tenure, Bragg issued a “Day One” memo instructing ADAs to downgrade certain felonies to misdemeanors and to decline to seek prison sentences for a host of criminals.

Nine prosecutors promptly headed for the door.

Among the “reforms” adopted by the state in 2019 is one that requires lawyers to provide the defense with “reams of material” under strict time constraints.

“It’s crippling,” said former Manhattan ADA and trial division chief Joan Illuzzi-Orban. “You become a file clerk rather than a trial lawyer.”

Should you take too long to produce, say, the bodycam footage of every police officer present at a protest during which a crime was committed, you could have your entire case thrown out.

“It’s insanity,” Illuzzi-Orban said. “Most of it is completely irrelevant and not germane in any way to the issues of the case.”

“There are tons of cases getting dismissed,” she added.

With seemingly needless burdens placed on prosecutors who constantly see repeat offenders such as McKelley walk free pending court dates they rarely bother to make, ADAs in New York City have had enough.

As of June, 65 assistant district attorneys had called it quits and resigned from Bragg’s office. To put that in perspective, in all of 2021, 95 ADAs resigned.

In Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez’s office, 67 of the approximately 500 prosecutors, or 13%, threw in the towel as of June 17.

Meanwhile, crime in New York City continues to soar.


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