I can't say it's surprising but at the same time but at the same time, I am amazed at the amount of stories I see on a daily basis about some of the things that people get arrested for. Some are self explanatory, like no one is ever surprised to see someone getting arrested for selling drugs. Someone gets arrested for selling drugs, you're not surprised they got arrested, you're surprised at what they got caught selling.

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This leads me to today where recently a Saugerties woman was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a television from a Walmart. Someone stealing a TV by itself, is not that surprising either, however the other half of this story is.

Police lights by night

This was Probably Not The Greatest Idea

By itself, stealing of any kind is bad, you shouldn't be stealing anything. That's a pretty normal common sense type of thing. That being said the technical term for 'stealing' is petit larceny and that charge can land you with a hefty fine up to $1000, 2-3 years probation or even up to a year in jail.

Man sits in sofa watching tv
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Now though petit larceny is bad, things definitely got much worse for Laura L. Barclay, 45 of Saugerties who is at the center of this story. She allegedly impersonated a police officer while in the process of attempting to steal this television. So a situation that was already bad just got much worse as the crime of impersonating a police officer is a felony.


For those unaware, the penalty for impersonating a police officer is a steep one. If found guilty, this charge can land someone in prison for up to four years, followed by another five years on probation.

Here Are All the Details

This whole situation went down recently where Ulster police were called to the local Walmart for the shoplifting complaint. It was reported that Barclay...

passed all points of sale without making any attempt to purchase said merchandise.

Joe Raedle /Getty Images

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Store security questioned Barclay, showed them 'her badge' and after continued questioning fled the store leaving the television, a Samsung with a $300 value behind. Once the real police officers arrived and gathered evidence from store security,it wasn't long before she was tracked down to her place of residence and subsequently arrested without incident.

What Happens Now in the Aftermath?

As it stands Barclay after the arrest was taken to and arraigned in Ulster Town Court. She was formally charged with the crime of misdemeanor petit larceny and the felony of impersonating a police officer. Barclay currently has been remanded and held in Ulster County jail without bail. Barclay did not receive the bail due to having previous felony arrests on her record.

Hand in jail

Now as is with every individual charged with a crime, Barclay will have her day in court to tell her side. That being said, if found guilty I can't help but think that this story is the sum of 'play stupid games, win stupid prizes'.


A situation that was already bad got much worse because of decisions that were made. Now that's what is always surprising, the level at which people will make bad decisions, fully knowing they're bad decisions and then still go through with them anyway.

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