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Old 02-08-2020, 08:31 AM
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Default Mexican-surnamed Shoplifter hijacks Uber for wild getaway while also wearing ankle bracelet


Shoplifter hijacks Uber for wild getaway while also wearing ankle bracelet
By Gabrielle Fonrouge
February 7, 2020 | 1:00pm | Updated

Genri Palacios Acosta

A Long Island man hijacked an Uber to use as his getaway car — apparently forgetting that he was still wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet from his last bust, leading cops straight to him, police said Friday.

Genri Palacios Acosta, 35 — who had been arrested less than a week earlier for smoking crack in his car — took an Uber to the Westbury Target in Nassau County around 6 p.m. Thursday and told the driver to wait, authorities said.

Unbeknownst to the Uber worker, Acosta went inside the store to swipe goods, putting them in a shopping cart, cops said. Acosta then walked out of the store with the unpaid items but was followed by a security guard, so he quickly ditched the loot and ran to the car, police said.

He hopped into the Uber, but the driver, a 28-year-old man, had seen what went on, refused to drive him and got out of the car, cops said. Acosta got in the driver’s seat, with the Uber driver then getting into the passenger’s seat, officials said.

Acosta started slowly driving off as the Uber driver struggled with him, then threatened the Uber worker with a gun, and the man jumped out of the moving car, authorities said.

Acosta was later tracked down to outside his house, sitting in a taxicab — thanks to the electronic monitoring bracelet he has had to wear since his last arrest, cops said. Acosta allegedly had crack, a pipe and marijuana on him when he was arrested in the shoplifting incident.

The Uber vehicle he swiped was recovered in Hempstead, officials said.

Acosta was charged with robbery, petit larceny and possession of a controlled substance and will be arraigned Friday.

On Feb. 2, Acosta was arrested for smoking crack in a car, crashing into a patrol car and leading cops on a chase and was charged with a slew of crimes, including four counts of possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest, cops said.

The man also has a pending case from November in which he was charged with misdemeanor assault, according to court records.

Police weren’t able to say what Acosta was trying to steal from Target. Calls to the department store went unreturned.
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