Man busted 90 times for shoplifting is arrested again hours after release from jail

Man busted 90 times for shoplifting is arrested again hours after release from jail

A serial thief who has been busted 90 times for shoplifting was arrested again just hours after he was released from jail, according to a local report.

Jesse Leonardo Otero, 44, is well known to the California businesses he frequently targets as well as several local police departments who have dealt with his antics repeatedly over the years, KRON reported.

He was most recently picked up by cops outside a shopping center in Pleasant Hill, about 20 miles east of Oakland on Dec. 8.

He had been released from the Martinez Detention Facility jail on misdemeanor charges just hours earlier that same day, the outlet reported.

The career criminal allegedly hurled swears and insults at a KRON reporter who asked him, "Jesse, don't you get sick of getting arrested?" as he was cuffed outside the shopping center.

Otero, who is homeless, survives and supports his drug addiction by shoplifting and then selling the stolen merchandise, cops told the outlet.

Man busted 90 times for shoplifting is arrested again hours after release from jail

He's known to police throughout the Bay Area, where he travels by BART trains to hit different communities to commit crimes.

His lengthy rap sheet shows he goes after both small businesses and big-box stores - and often returns to steal from them again to the extent that many store employees know him on a first-name basis.

"Since we started knowing who he was, we would call him out by name and say, 'Jesse - you're not allowed to be here,'" Daisy Erns, store manager at Five Little Monkeys toy store in Albany, told KRON

Man busted 90 times for shoplifting is arrested again hours after release from jail

Otero's typically cited or briefly jailed before he's released back out on the streets again.

He rarely steals more than $950 worth of products, according to police, which keeps him out of jail due to a 2014 change in state law.

That year, California residents voted to up the felony charge threshold for shoplifting from $400 in stolen property to $950, making most shoplifting crimes misdemeanors, according to the outlet.

Police are then left with no choice but to set him free despite his incredible criminal record.

"Nowadays, with the way that the filing standards have changed and the law is written, if it's a petty theft under $950, he's given the same ticket that you would get for running a stop sign," Pleasant Hill police officer Jacob Williams told KRON. 

"So that person is no longer booked into jail based off the shoplift alone - even if we are aware of prior convictions on his criminal history," he said.

Otero is currently in jail after his latest arrest. It's unclear if or when he will be released.

He was also arrested on Nov. 21 in Concord after committing a theft at a mall. He ran onto an interstate highway as he tried to flee police before he was detained.

Just days later on Nov. 24, Otero stole $340 worth of items from a bike store in Danville, according to the owner.

The Contra Costa DA's office filed a consolidated 31-count misdemeanor complaint against the career criminal - compiling his 31 arrests in the past year into a single case, KRON reported.

District Attorneys in the Golden State can consolidate cases for repeated crimes into one case, as Otero is currently facing.

His misdemeanor jury trial is scheduled for the last week of the year.


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