ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A serial shoplifter who’s gotten leniency before got a scolding from a judge on Friday. Michael Johnson has been in and out of jail for stealing from stores like Home Depot, Kohls and Walmart. Prosecutors say he’s had 12 arrests in three years and his crimes have escalated.


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“We don’t normally think about sending people to DOC for what would be shoplifting, larceny kind of charges but Mr. Johnston, your history is just replete,” said Judge Stan Whitaker.

His attorney argued for probation but the judge didn’t go for it. “He indeed realizes this is a substance abuse issue it’s gotten absolutely out of hand and he is trying to figure out how to address it. You certainly have become a menace to this community,” said Defense Attorney Scott Price.

“You certainly have become a menace to this community. You’ve been terrible. You’ve absconded, you’ve had more warrants issued for failure to appear and comply that I’ve seen in a long time and I’ve been doing this for15 years,” said Whitaker.

The judge sentenced him to two years with zero tolerance when he’s paroled. He faced three years.