NYC police arrest five suspects for pickpocketing Rockefeller Center sightseers

Fox News takes a look at the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

The glitzy New York City tradition started with very humble beginnings during the Great Depression.

The NYPD arrested five people on Friday night for pick-pocketing unsuspecting sightseers in the crowded Rockefeller Center, one of whom had 37 prior arrests. 

The 79-foot Norway Spruce, which was lit at the beginning of the month, attracts thousands of tourists every evening. 

An NYPD officer, left, patrols near the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Police conducted the operation on Friday night after receiving multiple complaints of pick-pocketing in the area. 

Pablo Lechon, Gary Teasley, Christian Tutasig, Alejandra Melendez, and Carman Marlene were arrested and all charged with grand larceny and jostling. 

It marked the 38th arrest for 65-year-old Gary Teasley, according to police.

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    The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 89th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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    The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit by 50,000 energy efficient LED lights. (Associated Press)

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has been an outspoken critic of a bail reform law that was passed in 2019, which did away with cash bail for most low-level offenses and nonviolent felonies. 

Shea called it “insanity” in October, saying there’s “no other way to describe the resulting crime that has flowed from disastrous bail reform law.”

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