Who is Harold Gooding? NYC's most PROLIFIC criminal has been arrested 101 times, and is still free!
New York's most prolific offender has been identified as Harold Gooding, 53, who is a thief who has been arrested 101 times for repeated raids on Target and other stores. Since being freed under lax bail reforms, he has been busted for dozens of larceny charges, including four heists on the popular department store. He already has as many as 15 convictions to his name, as well as 14 failures to show in court,
Gooding is now number one on the NYPD's list of repeat offenders, but he remains free, the Daily Mail reported. His former landlord told the publication about him, referring to him as the "tenant from hell", who brought prostitutes over, took drugs, argued with his neighbors and trashed the apartment. The landlord, Henry, said he began for fear for the safety of his wife and daughters when Gooding was aroung. Henry said he felt like "a prisoner in his own home". This Bronx building is Gooding's last known address. Henry said the thug often stole other residents' parcels, and had the police called on him at least 20 times.
Who is Harold Gooding?
The local mailman said Gooding was a quiet man who "wasn't the type to make conversation". She said he was shocked to learn about the allegations againt him. He described how the criminal would wait on the street for his mail, collect it and take it inside without initiating conversations. He waited on the street because he did not have a key to his mailbox.
Gooding, who tops the list, also goes by Jamel White. He has been busted 88 times on larceny charges in the last two years. At least 74 of these were on petit and grand larceny charges that were committed in Manhattan. There are also two pending cases against him for five alleged thefts from the Target store on Greenwich Street. He has been convicted 15 times, made up of two violent felonies, one non-violent one and 10 misdemeanors. He has reportedly skipped court hearings at least 14 times. Gooding has served time behind bars for robbery and burglary convictions. The criminal, who has been arrested 101 times, has a rap sheet that goes back to 2016.
"We didn't know. 101 times I can't believe it. The system made him do that. The politicians make it worse," the landlord, Henry, said. "When they passed bail reform we knew it was a problem. You get arrested and then you get out. I don't like bail reform and the way the city is run. I am not blaming the mayor, just the politicians who allow criminals not to get arrested."
Gooding was last seen at his apartment on June 22, 2021. At the time, cops came to the house after Gooding was accused of stealing packages from the front of the house. He denied the allegations and refused to come out of his apartment when the cops arrived. The police said they would come back in the morning, but Gooding left the apartment before being caught. "I haven't seen him. He left everything in the apartment. He also took the key. I had to change the lock," Henry said.
Henry first met Gooding in March 2018 when he rented him apartment. "The first year we thought he was a good guy. He said he served in Iraq. He had PTSD then we realized he wasn't normal," Henry said. "He started asking me for money. I would give him $10, $5 and $4 three different times and than I stopped. He wasn't buying food it was for drugs. He was bringing home prostitutes all hours of the night. I tried to push him out." Henry said he called the cops 20 times after Gooding caused trouble, but the police said they could not arrest him because it was a landlord/tenant issue.
Henry said that on one occasion, he saw a terrified woman running from Gooding as he chased her. A tenant, a single man who worked as a teacher and had a cat, was verbally attacked by Gooding during an argument over the noise his pet made. After this tenant moved out, a woman from public shelter with two kids rented the place. Eventually, she had to move out too after arguments with Gooding over her children.
On the list of worst criminals in New York, Gooding, who was number one, was referred to as 'recidivist number one'. The mayor and top cops are reportedly furious because he remains on the loose. "We've arrested him 101 times, but how many crimes do you think he really committed? 200? 300? 1,000?" Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri said at a press conference. "This individual I'm talking about, he has 14 failures to appear. He's walking around the streets today probably committing another crime as we speak."
Mayor Eric Adams said that the 2020 reforms, which were shered in under Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, made it nearly impossible to jail criminals. "You have to work really hard to get to Rikers right now. To get there, you did something that is really bad," he said. At the press conference, some details about the other offenders on the list were released but Adams refused to reveal their names because he had to "follow the rules". Some of the criminals have open crime warrants out against them.