A serial thief who has racked up nearly 140 arrests in New York City for pickpocketing unsuspecting subway commuters says the Democrats are to thank because bail reform has allowed him to commit more crimes.
‘I’m famous!’ Charles Barry, 56, told a New York Daily News reporter outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Saturday after he was arraigned.
‘I take $200, $300 a day of your money, cracker! You can’t stop me!’
As police led Barry out of a precinct on Thursday after his latest arrest, he yelled to a reporter: ‘Bail reform, it’s lit!’
‘It’s the Democrats! The Democrats know me and the Republicans fear me.
‘You can’t touch me! I can’t be stopped!’
Barry has been arrested six times so far in 2020 – each time after he was freed without bail thanks to a new state law that went into effect on January 1.
Charles Barry, 56, is a serial thief who has been arrested 139 times by New York police. He has served six stints in state prison for nonviolent crimes like selling drugs and larceny
On two occasions, he was arrested for stealing money from subway commuters who were in the process of buying Metrocards from the vending machines in the subway station.
On January 19, Barry allegedly stole $50 out of a woman’s hand inside the subway station at West 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue near Manhattan’s Bryant Park.
He was then issued a desk appearance ticket for failing to show up for a court hearing.
The arrests in 2020 are in addition to the 134 other arrests for crimes like grand larceny, petty larceny, and fraudulent accosting, according to the New York Daily News.
The new law in New York State, which was passed after Democrats took control of the legislature in Albany, requires judges to release those accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
In order to ensure that those arrested return for their court dates, the judge may impose non-monetary conditions, like electronic monitoring or supervised release.
If someone is suspected of committing a violent felony and the judge is not convinced that he or she will show up for their court date, the judge can impose bail.
Supporters of the reform say it is necessary to reduce the pre-trial jail population and combat mass incarceration.
Opponents say that it allows recidivist criminals to continue committing crimes without a deterrent.
Since Barry’s crimes are considered nonviolent, judges are not allowed to send him to jail while his case awaits trial.
According to authorities, Barry has a history of sneaking up on commuters and stealing their wallets.
Police say he has even pretended to be a Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker and offered help to riders buying subway cards, only to run off with their cash and credit cards.
The 56-year-old Barry has served six terms in state prison, according to the Daily News.
He was sentenced after being convicted for selling drugs as well as grand larceny.
Police say Barry has impersonated an MTA employee and approached commuters offering to help them with purchasing Metrocards at vending machines (like the one seen above at the 14th Street-Union Square station in Manhattan) – only to run off with their money
A transit police officer says the new bail reform law is to blame for Barry’s continuing to commit crimes.
‘At least before, he’d be remanded and be behind bars for a couple of days. He wouldn’t be able to victimize people,’ said Assistant Chief Gerald Dieckmann, the No. 2 officer in the NYPD’s Transit Bureau.
Critics of the bail law say it should be amended so that judges have some discretion to impose bail on potentially dangerous suspects.
But supporters of the bail law accuse the NYPD of amplifying Barry’s arrests to promote their agenda.
‘We adamantly oppose any changes to the bail law as it is written,’ The Legal Aid Society said in a statement.
The LAS, which is representing Barry, says putting him in jail does no one any good.
‘Mr. Barry’s case underscores the need for economic stability and meaningful social services, not a need to rollback bail reform,’ the Society said in a statement.
‘Locking up Mr. Barry on unaffordable bail or worse, remanding without bail, ultimately does nothing to protect the public and fails entirely to address his actual needs.’
Source: dailymail US