Harold Gooding, a 53-year-old serial shoplifter who has been arrested 101 times, has been identified as the career criminal Mayor Adams dubbed “Recidivist No. 1” as a symbol of the city’s revolving door of criminal justice.
What number of offenses do you believe he actually committed? How many is it? the number 300? One thousand? Michael LiPetri, the NYPD’s chief of crime control strategies, revealed this during a news conference on Wednesday.
“And what’s this? He’s out on the streets of New York City right now, possibly committing some other crime.
Who is Harold Gooding?
According to insiders, Gooding is the anonymous individual at the top of the NYPD’s list of the “Worst of the Worst” repeat offenders who have been let off the hook repeatedly because of New York’s flawed bail-reform law.
Gooding has served three prison terms, starting with a one- to three-year sentence for an attempted-burglary conviction in Brooklyn in 1994, according to state records.
According to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, he was sent upstate once again in 1996 for a Brooklyn attempted robbery conviction while going under the name Jamiel White.
According to records, Gooding was given a 10-year term for first-degree robbery in Brooklyn in 2001 and was released on parole in 2008.
Until she is elected, Governor Hochul won’t discuss changes to the New York bail laws.
According to records, he entered a plea of guilty to petit larceny in a separate Manhattan case in February and was given a conditional discharge that called for him to remain out of trouble and frequently appear in court.
His conditional discharge was extended for a year after his failure to appear led to his arrest in July on a bench warrant.
Gooding is accused of shoplifting from a Target store in Tribeca several times during an alleged spree of robberies this year, all while donning the same recognizable white hat, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The DA’s Office claimed that Gooding was caught on surveillance footage stealing household goods from the shop on five separate occasions between May 12 and June 16 while donning the bucket hat.
Gooding, whose Facebook page shows his penchant for headwear and sparkle filters, was busted about two blocks from the store while allegedly trying to make a getaway from the most recent heist.
In tote bags he was carrying, cops allegedly found $430 worth of towels, bedsheets and cookware swiped from the store.
The other capers, which involved a blender, a coffee maker, cookware and two air fryers, pushed the value of his alleged hauls over $2,000.
He also is being investigated in about 17 other thefts from the same Target, according to the DA.
Under the state’s bail-reform law, he was freed without bail on supervised release in the robberies, the DA’s Office said.
‘Wasn’t a good guy’
The landlord at Gooding’s last known address in The Bronx said he had lived there for about three years until moving out in June 2021 after the landlord called police to accuse him of stealing packages.
The landlord, who gave his name only as Henry, said cops had visited the building to look for Gooding at least four times, most recently about 10 days ago.
“We thought he was a good guy,” Henry said. “By the time he left, he wasn’t a good guy.”
Gooding’s mother, Delores Stroy, 72, appeared surprised to learn her son was at the top of the NYPD’s “Worst of the Worst” list.
“Not my Harold,” she told The Post. “I know nothing about that.”
The Legal Aid Society, which is representing Gooding in both of his pending cases, didn’t return a request for comment.