Queens Pickpocket Gets 15-to-Life for $22 Theft

News & Politics
This post, written by Lindsay Beyerstein, originally appeared on Majikthise

A Queens judge sentenced a pickpocket to 15-to-life for stealing $22.

Undercover police officers busted the perp in 2004 as he tried to boost an old man's wallet on a city bus.

Prosecutors offered him an 8-month sentence if he were willing to plead guilty. He refused. Prosecutors then petitioned the court to designate him as a persistent felony offender.

Queens judge Arthur Cooperman was willing to play along, even though the pickpocket had no history of violence:
Truesdale was found guilty in June 2005 of grand larceny, possession of stolen property, three counts of jostling (bumping into the attended victim), and possession of a burglar's tools (the sweatshirt). In a hearing to determine if Truesdale was a persistent felony offender, his trial lawyer argued that his crimes were nonviolent and were committed only to feed drug and alcohol addictions that Truesdale was seeking help to control.

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