News about a 76-year old shoplifter doesn’t usually make the national news. Except if it happens to be a Republican County Chairman.
Rockland County’s Republican Chairman Vincent Reda was charged with petty larceny earlier this week by Clarkstown Town Police after he attempted to leave the Nanuet Mall Macy’s with a $198 coat that he did not purchase.
Clarkstown Police say Reda put the coat under a plastic bag while shopping at Macy’s. When he attempted to leave the store, the security tag on the garment set off an alarm.
Reda says it’s all a big misunderstanding and that he was actually trying to return the coat. “There was a mistake made Sunday when I went to make a return at Macy’s,” Reda told the Journal News. He is due to appear before the Clarkstown Town Court on January 12 to answer charges of petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
Reda’s bio on Rockland County GOP Website gives him credit for resurrecting the county’s Republican Party and helping to elect Scott Vanderhoef as Rockland County Executive in 1992.
Although innocent until proven guilty, Reda’s arrest this week closes out a sorry year for NYS officials. Earlier this month, New York State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. was charged with embezzling $500,000 from a federally funded health care nonprofit and former Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel was censured by Congress for failing to disclose income and violating House gift bans.