On January 2, 2020, New York passed a law that permitted for immediate bail of people committed of certain crimes. Under the new bail reform law, most non-violent felonies — including bank robberies carried out without a weapon — are no longer bail eligible, meaning no judge can order them to be held pending trial.
Taking full advantage of the new reform, one career criminal has already committed his fifth bank robbery after being bailed out four times already for the same crime, New York Post writes: “He’s laughing all the way to the next bank.”
Sprung on Thursday, Gerod Woodberry promptly robbed a fifth bank, in Brooklyn, on Friday, law enforcement sources told The Post.
So cops spent Saturday hunting once again for fugitive Woodberry, who allegedly pulled four heists at Chase banks in Chelsea, the Upper West Side and the West Village between Dec. 30 and Jan. 8.
Because Woodberry allegedly robbed using a note, rather than a gun, no New York jail can currently hold him, no matter how many times he strikes.
His alleged grand larcenies are classified as non-violent felonies. Therefore under the bail reform law, most non-violent felonies — including bank robberies carried out without a weapon — are no longer bail eligible, meaning no judge can order him held pending trial.
“I can’t believe they let me out,” Woodberry marveled as he retrieved his vouchered property at One Police Plaza in lower Manhattan, sources told The Post. “What were they thinking?”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea was frustrated with the outcome. “What motivation does this suspect have to return to court? None,” Shea tweeted. “This makes NYPD cops’ jobs harder, and makes New Yorkers less safe.”
Woodberry’s alleged spree began Dec. 30, when he slipped a note demanding money to a teller at a Chase bank at Ninth Avenue and West 16th Street, taking off with more than $1,000, police sources said.
He struck next at a Chase bank at Broadway and West 90th on Jan. 3 at about 3:30 p.m., again handing a teller a note, but leaving empty-handed, police said.
Patrol cops caught up with him in Manhattan on Thursday after the NYPD sent a photo of him to “1,000s of NYPD smartphones,” Shea tweeted.
“A dedicated @NYPD25Pct cop saw it while on his way to work, spotted the man, [and] safely made the arrest.”
Less than a day later, Woodberry took advantage of his unexpected freedom to rob a fifth bank in Downtown Brooklyn, police said. In that heist, he allegedly passed a note to the teller at a Chase bank on Flatbush Avenue and made off with more than $1,000, police said.
Woodberry, a South Carolina native, has at least one previous arrest for possession of marijuana from August 2007 in Brooklyn, police said.
“Another unfortunate example of what we are facing under the new bail reform law. Certain individuals need to remain in jail for the safety of our city,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said. “Judges must have the discretion to make that happen.”