Manhasset, NY

$6,000 bail for accused Manhasset shoplifter

Macy's on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, site of two alleged shoplifting cases against 60-year-old David Watson.Photo byC.J. Teevan

No Bail Reform for you!

A guy who says he’s homeless went directly to jail this past weekend after a Nassau County judge set his bail at $6,000 on shoplifting charges.

No one's bailed him out yet.

According to police, David Watson, 60, went Christmas shopping in the Northern Boulevard Manhasset Macy’s in December – twice – and left without paying.

For his first spree, a Macy’s store detective says he saw Watson walk out the door with $188 worth of unpaid merchandise Dec. 16, 2022. Watson was arrested moments later. The Nassau County 6th Precinct is right next to the store. Police took his information, gave him a ticket for shoplifting with a court date, and released him.

Watson was back at Macy's 5 days later. This time he scooped up 11 pairs of sunglasses – retail value $3,628 – in the Macy's Sunglass Hut booth.

And he ran.

Macy’s says this time, they recognized Watson as the same shoplifter, and they filed a police report. A warrant was issued.

Maybe Watson knew about the warrant. He was supposed to be arraigned for his Dec. 16 Macy's visit on Jan. 3. But he didn't go.

Nevertheless, thanks to the warrant, he ended up in Hempstead District Court. He was held overnight and dragged into court the next day on 2 shoplifting cases.

Watson was charged with Misdemeanor Petit Larceny for his Dec. 16 case.

For his Dec. 21 sunglasses case, he was charged with Grand Larceny and Burglary.

He pleaded Not Guilty to everything.

Watson says he lives in the Bronx at 1171 Washington Ave., which gives temporary housing to formerly homeless individuals with special needs.
Sunglass Hut in Macy's Manhasset store, where a man is accused of stealing $3,628 worth of sunglasses.Photo byC.J. Teevan

Court records indicate he was arrested in an apartment at the Fairfield Hotel, 29-27 40th Rd. in Queens, which houses former inmates. Watson’s lawyer still insists his client is “currently homeless.”

At Watson's arraignment last Sunday, the Assistant District Attorney demanded the judge set bail for Watson, who did several years of hard time in a New York prison upstate for an Arson conviction. His criminal record -- 9 Misdemeanors, 2 violent Felonies – make him “an incredible risk of flight”, said the Assistant DA.

Judge Douglas Lerose agreed. He set that bail at $6,000.

If convicted on all 3 charges, David Watson faces up to 15 years in prison.

Remember: He might be innocent.

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Civil rights activist and investigative journalist C.J. Teevan has covered L.I. news for the New York Times, computerized consumer products for Gannett Newspapers, and retail trends for business magazines. She lives in Roslyn, N.Y. with 3 dogs.

Roslyn Heights, NY

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