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“I’m just going to do a quick shot and then we’ll go in,” David says. We are sitting outside Queens Place Mall in Elmhurst, in a dark corridor that wraps around an aging, brutalist coliseum. Inside, a mixture of mostly middle-class Hispanic and Asian kids fresh out of school are looking at clothes and shoes, meeting up with friends and milling about.
David is here to steal items from a popular department store to support his 10-bag-a-day heroin habit he picked up nearly 20 years ago.
The article goes on to state the following:
“One more shot will calm the nerves, make it easier for me to steal, but I also want to do one because if I get caught, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do another,” he says as he sits on a concrete ledge and begins to pull out his drugs.
In their exclusive report, the New York Post explains that “David Gonzalez, 42, was raised on Staten Island and attended Catholic school and two years of college before becoming an FDNY EMT in 2000.”
While working as a firefighter, Gonzalez tells Yang about the time he helped deliver a baby in a bathroom and saved its life. Noting the loss of a career he loved, he said, “I would have retired this year.”
However, in 2004 he was arrested for fleeing from the police after a fight with a man outside a bar. The Post writes:
He tested positive for cocaine, and the FDNY doctor gave him an ultimatum: Resign with three-quarters of his pension or get clean. David said he chose the latter, but wasn’t able to stop doing drugs.
David lost his job with the FDNY, and went to work in construction, while still doing drugs. Now, his “job” is shoplifting, which funds his drug habit.
Even as Albany laws and district attorneys have lowered the consequences of stealing, complaints from businesses in New York City have risen 81%. Much of that crime is fueling the drug trade.
New York Post reporter Stephen Yang writes that he followed along with Gonzelez as he went on a shoplifting spree at the Queens Place Mall. Mall security officials see him coming, but they don’t engage, and a uniformed NYPD officer watches him, but does nothing.
“I go mainly for electronics, I go for headphones, Bluetooth speakers, high-end hardware drives. S–t, I can even get a laptop. The second thing is tools, the third thing is high-end kitchen supplies,” Gonzalez brags.
He asks mall employees for directions, fills his bag, exits the mall, and smirks to Yang, “That was fun, wasn’t it?”
Gonzalez repeats the process throughout the day, stopping to do drugs between heists, hawks his loot at a Midtown electronics store for 25% of the sticker price, and ultimately ends up with about $500. He says he will spend $200 of that on heroin, which can last “more than two days.”
In one store, two employees yell at Gonzelez after he stuffs a load of clothes into his bag and walks out. They turn to their boss and ask, “You’re not going to stop him?”
Defeated, she replies, “It’s not worth it.”
“People are jealous, they work a week to make $1,500, I make it in three days,” Gonzalez brags to Yang.
CLICK HERE to read the entire report, which also includes exclusive photos, along with an interview with David’s mother.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 22, 2022
To get more information about this article, please visit NYPost.com.
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