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Serial NYC shoplifter who’s dodged jail nabbed for 27 heists

A serial shoplifter who has skirted jail time despite dozens of busts was arrested yet again this week — and accused of 27 new heists at Manhattan pharmacies, The Post has learned.

Wilfredo Ocasio, 44, was allegedly caught red-handed at a Duane Reade in the Financial District on Monday and hit with the new charges for terrorizing that and two other of the chain’s Lower Manhattan outposts for months, police sources said.

Ocasio, who has served two stints in state prison on rape and robbery convictions, already has 33 busts on his resume since mid-August when he was arrested on Nov. 16 for 23 separate thefts from two Duane Reade stores.

But he caught a break when prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged him with just two — telling The Post at the time it would have been “a waste of resources” to move forward with all the charges.

“Nobody should be surprised that Mr. Ocasio has been once again arrested — this time on 27 [petit] larceny charges,” said Paul DiGiacomo, president of the NYPD Detective’s Endowment Association. “Why would he stop when there are absolutely no consequences?”

Wilfredo Ocasio, 44.
Wilfredo Ocasio, 44, who has dozens of shoplifting arrests on his rap sheet, was hit with 27 new heists on Monday, police sources said.
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Under state law, Ocasio would only have to serve a maximum of two years behind bars under state law, even if he was charged with and convicted of all the raps, a spokesman for the office explained at the time.

DiGiacomo blasted DA Alvin Bragg’s office for how it handled Ocasio’s cases last month.

“In November, standing by their failed policies, Bragg’s office said it would be a ‘waste of resources’ to prosecute the 23 charges detectives brought against Ocasio,” DiGiacomo said. “The store owners and dedicated detectives know he belongs behind bars.”

Duane Reade
Wilfredo Ocasio, 44, has been hit with dozens of shoplifting charges, primarily at Duane Reade outlets in Manhattan, police said.

Ocasio was awaiting arraignment Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court on the new charges.

Police sources said the DA’s office would likely aggregate the slew of new petit larceny raps to grand larceny.

He’s accused of repeatedly hitting Duane Reade outlets on Broadway, Water Street and Wall Street between Oct. 26 and Dec. 21, according to sources.

The sources said he made off with can bars, donuts, Monster and Red Bull drinks, and a Whitman chocolate sampler — along with holiday items like gingerbread houses.

The NYPD was keeping tabs on his alleged exploits and finally got him in handcuffs.

Ocasio’s name surfaced last month when NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey cited his case as an example of the state’s failed criminal justice reforms.

“Just this past weekend [a] detective squad sergeant down in the First Precinct covering Lower Manhattan, Soho, Tribeca, Financial District reached out to me to express her frustration over an individual that they had arrested and charged with 21 separate crimes,” Corey said during an appearance on NY1 then.

“That’s right, that’s 21 different victims, 21 different dates,” he said. “They thought that the aggregate at least of that — you victimize 21 people on 21 different occasions — would get him held. It didn’t.

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