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Shoplifting suspect escapes police custody in East Harlem

A shoplifting suspect in East Harlem, New York, escaped from police custody as he was being escorted into a cruiser on Feb. 11. The man, who had been accused of shoplifting from a Duane Reade store between Park and Madison avenues, was handcuffed when he ran away from police officers who were attempting to detain him. Police officers spent additional time searching nearby residences and buildings, but they were unable to locate the suspect.

This is not the first instance of a suspect escaping from police custody in the past few years - news reports show that about 10 New York suspects have run away from officers since 2015. Some residents in the area said they were concerned about having this type of suspect "on the loose" in their neighborhood. Others said they understood the man's motivation, but they thought he might have made his situation worse by fleeing the officers.

Criminal defendants are sometimes afraid of the consequences of being taken into custody, but misdemeanors can become far more serious if a suspect resists arrest, attempts to escape, or successfully escapes. These theft crimes do not always carry insurmountable penalties, but committing a more serious offense by escaping can spell bad news for a defendant's future. Instead of trying to run away from a theft charge conviction on foot, a defendant may be better served by pursuing a criminal defense in court.

Criminal defendants are not automatically considered guilty simply because they are arrested. In fact, you have more rights than you might think if you are arrested for theft crimes. Instead of pursuing action that will have far reaching consequences - like escape - think about enlisting the help of a qualified attorney. Working within the legal framework can minimize the future impact of these theft charges.

Source: CBS New York, "Shoplifting Suspect Escapes From Police Custody In East Harlem While Handcuffed," Dave Carlin, Feb. 11, 2017

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