WEST NYACK NY April 21 2011— A man described by prosecutors as a career criminal with nearly 40 convictions will be sentenced in July after he was found guilty of trying to steal more than $1,000 in video games from a store in the Palisades Center mall.
Joe Smith, 56, of 416 Liberty St., Newburgh, was convicted after a jury trial of a felony count of grand larceny and misdemeanor charges of attempted criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of an anti-security item.
The convictions stemmed from an incident at the Best Buy at the mall two years ago in which Smith entered the store carrying a disguised foil-lined “booster bag,” designed to conceal stolen merchandise.
A store security guard followed Smith and saw him take a handful of video games and put them in the booster bag.
Clarkstown police officers, responding to a call from Best Buy security personnel, arrested the Smith in the parking lot near J.C. Penney following a foot chase through the mall.
Store security officers determined the total value of the stolen games was $1,159.
Jurors deciding the case in the courtroom of Rockland County Court Judge William K. Nelson reached a verdict on April 11, following a week-long trial and eight hours of deliberations.
Smith was remanded to the Rockland County Jail and will be sentenced July 12. He faces a maximum of four years in state prison.
Smith has a total of 39 convictions, including two felony convictions for which he served time in state prison. The defendant has several additional charges pending, including petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.