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NYC "Man of Steal" admits he exploited lax laws

NYPD

Last October, we looked at the story of Isaac Rodriguez, a New York City looter who became known as the Prince of Thieves. The New York Post humorously dubbed him “the Man of Steal.” His marathon binge of robbing stores in the city so he could sell the goods on the streets for drug money wound up seeing him arrested a staggering 46 times in one year while never spending more than a few hours in jail. He was finally sentenced in January to a little less than a year at Rikers Island. Now, Rodriguez has given a jailhouse interview to the Post where he was asked about his habitual thefts and how he managed to get away with it for so long. Sir Isaac Lootin’ (as the Post also calls him) admitted that he knew he would never face any repercussions for his crimes because of soft-on-crime policies in the city, timid store security personnel, and the fears of people living in the area to rat him out.

The serial thief who led the city in shoplifting busts last year with a staggering 46 arrests says he exploited his Queens neighborhood’s fears, lax store security and soft-on-crime prosecutors, during an exclusive jailhouse interview with The Post…

“Where I come from, people mind their business, and if they don’t, bad things happen to them,” Sir Isaac Lootin’ said in the candid 50-minute video sitdown from Rikers Island. “I’m from the hood.

“Some employees would try to talk to me, but they would never touch me.”

Rodriguez acknowledges that he was caught 46 times, but proudly declares that “I got away a lot more than that.” And he always knew that each time he was caught he would be back out on the street within a few hours. He was feeding a chronic addiction to heroin and cocaine.

The Post points to previous comments by AOC, saying that going after people like Rodriguez was not only racist, but it was harmful. Her reason was that many of them are stealing baby formula and diapers, so they must just be poor people trying to care for their children. But the Prince of Thieves readily admits that he has no children (that he knows of) and he was just taking things that would tend to sell the most quickly so he could score his next batch of drugs.

If Rodriguez is to be believed (I know), finally being sent to Rikers may wind up saving his life. He claims to be clean now and working on his GED and he plans to turn his life around. If he was still out on the streets he believes he would die from his habits sooner or later.

This is a blessing in disguise. I know that I wasn’t going to be sober if I was still out there,” he said. “I would’ve died sooner or later.”

Who knows? Maybe he will find a way to turn his life around. And if so, I wish him the best. But this is also a reminder that all of these criminal justice reform advocates aren’t always doing criminals a favor by endlessly pumping them back out onto the streets through a revolving door. Many will not accept help, but some will. And even if they don’t, locking them up for a while at least means that there is one less dangerous person walking around the neighborhood threatening to make sure that “snitches get stitches.”