This ‘Man of Steal’ leads NYC’s record-shattering shoplifting surge with 46 arrests


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Isaac Rodriguez has stolen from Walgreens 37 times in 2021

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With 46 arrests for retail theft this year alone, this Man of Steel leads NYC’s record-breaking shoplifting growth.

If he was the supervillain in the piracy film, 22-year-old Isaac Rodriguez would be called Sir Isaac Lutin.’


But the real-life, allegedly violent outlaw has no surname – only a rap sheet of 74 crimes, which dates back to 2015, according to police sources.

Police sources told The Post that the King of Queens Thieves has been arrested 57 times this year alone, including one with a vicious stab.

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Rodriguez is finally in jail, but he rode the city justice’s revolving door for allegedly ripping off Walgreens 37 times this year. Police said he was particularly partial to the drugstore shop at 91-08 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, which he hit 23 times.

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Police said he stole anything from protein drinks and body lotion to baby formula and sexy lingerie. According to court records, he also likes Dove soap and Victoria’s Secret merchandise.

During just one illegal shopping spree, on July 7 at a Jackson Heights Walgreens, Rodriguez took “10 units of Ensure, 12 Walgreens wipes, 15 units of Sensodyne toothpaste and 8 units of Cetaphil lotion,” court papers state.

The store manager said, “This guy steals here every day, every single day. He comes and steals.” “We call 911 and make a report, and that’s it. It’s our company policy that if someone comes, because of a security issue, we can’t stop them. There’s nothing we can do.”

“They steal and they sell,” said the manager.

The manager said that Queens Klepto has been targeting his Jackson Heights store for “at least a year, at least every single day. … stops whenever he goes to jail. Sometimes that three , comes four times. [a day] to get all [certain] Goods.”

Rodriguez’s MO isn’t sophisticated. He doesn’t use the fake belly or false-bottom boxes preferred by professional shoppers. He simply enters the store and helps himself – according to store employees and law enforcers, he fills a bag with stuff from the shelves, and then walks out without paying.

He is a one-man crime wave in a city that is being taken over by thieves, said a furious law enforcer.

“I don’t know how [cases] The handle has been taken, but apparently to no avail,” the police source told The Post. “Looking at his rap sheet, there isn’t a hinge moment. There is a storm of criminal activities in his life. The results didn’t stop him from this path. There is a pattern of behavior that perpetuates a cycle of crime here. And it hasn’t been stopped.”

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In addition to his 37 Walgreens attacks, he has hit local Victoria’s Secret stores four times, Rite Aid (3), Target (3), CVS (2), Family Dollar (1) and Macy’s (1), police said.

He is charged with burglary, including 42 counts of petit theft and three for grand theft (more than $1,000 in value), police said.

Police said Pablo Cusco, 39, was kicked, beaten, robbed and stabbed by Rodriguez and others while walking their dog near their Jackson Heights home at 3:20 a.m. on June 7.

The group demanded $1 from Cusco. When he complied, thanks to the thugs—his cell phone was snatched away. When Cusco tried to resist he was beaten, and he was also treated at Elmhurst Hospital for four puncture wounds to his leg and buttocks.

A few weeks later, Rodriguez was arrested and charged with mass assault.

“He [Rodriguez} almost killed me. He should stay in jail for sure, for sure,” the Spanish-speaking Cusco told The Post through a pal who translated. “I was punched a lot and stabbed with a knife. I’m still scared because they may find me again.”

Three months earlier, the courts and prosecutors had a chance to get Rodriguez off the streets.

On March 12, Rodriguez was arrested after he was spotted on a roof landing of the Queensbridge North Houses in alleged possession of a large knife. He was charged with trespass and a violation for the knife, court papers state. He was issued only a desk appearance ticket.


The Post’s reporting on the career criminal led the NYPD’s top cop to react with outrage.

“Insanity,” Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted Saturday. “No other way to describe the resulting crime that has flowed from disastrous bail reform law.”

“For the most part the top charge in his [Rodriguez] The cases are not bailable offenses,” according to a spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

He landed in prison when on August 26, Queens Criminal Court Judge David Kirshner granted $15,000 bail based on a statute that allows bail when a suspect is charged with another crime. An offense is charged with causing harm to a person during identification.

The case stems from an August 24 incident at Walgreens on National Street in Corona, where Rodriguez went through her shopping routine – this time she picked up cleaning and feminine hygiene products – but violated a protection order by doing so. Sources said that Rodriguez had hit the Corona location 13 times.

NYPD sources say 77 other burglars are currently roaming the streets of New York with 20 or more shoplifting charges.

As of 12 September, the city has registered 26,385 complaints of retail theft – the highest ever (going back to 1995). This is an increase of 32 percent from last year (20,024) and 38 percent from 2014 (19,166).

NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lepetrie told The Post, “It’s awesome and it’s really about repetition. That’s what’s driving these grand larcenies and these petty thefts.”

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He said 37 per cent of those arrested for theft have criminal cases pending against them. “There’s not a lot of accountability when it comes to these crimes,” he said.

The chief said the NYPD is working with stores on prevention measures such as reporting incidents in real time and has put in place foot patrols and other resources in business districts, especially Midtown.

Still, Gotham registered 3,709 complaints of retail theft in August — the most in a month.

These crimes are not always the victims.

On September 8, an 11-year-old boy was killed by some shopkeepers while protecting his family’s Avenue de Mini Mart in Manhattan from thieves, police said.

A week later, police arrested 50-year-old Hector Diaz, a neighborhood resident who had been arrested at least 18 earlier for crimes ranging from drug possession to petit larci.

“We have seen an increase in the number of shoppers as a whole,” Lipetri said, adding that the number of such incidents in 2021 has increased by 18 percent compared to the previous year.

“Organized shoplifting has been around for a long time, but certainly not at the level we’re seeing in New York and elsewhere,” said Joseph Giacalone, an assistant professor in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD sergeant. “The penalty for getting caught is low, but the reward is high. The Internet provides an easy way to fencing objects.

“It’s not about bread like AOC [Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] Would you believe It’s about opportunists taking advantage of decisions made in their favor thanks to the mayor, city council, and Albany. It only gets worse from here.”

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