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NYC retail menace called ‘one-man crime spree’ who robbed Lululemon stores 12 times this year: sources



Talk about a lemon.

Cops have collared a prolific Manhattan retail menace who’s hit Lululemon stores a dozen times since January — including six times at one location, sources said.

“One-man crime spree” Vincent Traficante, 37, has been arrested a dozen times this year with an insatiable taste for raiding Manhattan’s ritzy Lululemon boutiques, law enforcement sources revealed to The Post.

He was nabbed yet again Tuesday inside the famous brand’s store in SoHo, where he was caught red-handed with more than a dozen bags laden with expensive merchandise.

Vincent Traficante, 37, has been described as a “one-man crime spree” because of his penchant for stealing from Lululemon stores in Manhattan.

“He’s been working mostly on Long Island,” one police source said. “But just this year, in January, he came to New York. And he’s been running wild here.”

On Thursday, Traficante was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on two counts of third-degree burglary and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing pricey pieces from a pair of Lululemon stores three different times in the last month, according to the complaint.

Judge Jonathan Svetkey cited the career crook’s lengthy list of previous charges when he set Traficante’s bail at $10,000 cash, $20,000 insurance company bond and $30,000 bond/surety/partially secured, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Svetkey tacked on a parole hold for another attempted robbery on Long Island.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this pilfering perp.

Besides his most recent arrests, Traficante racked up nearly a dozen criminal convictions in Suffolk and Nassau counties over the last few years — including a 2020 robbery that landed him in the clink, sources said.

He’s piled on another dozen or so collars since he decided to move on up to Manhattan earlier this year, sources said, snatching about $13,000 worth of swanky accessories from the chic retail giant.

“He’s been getting arrested in Manhattan left and right,” one frustrated Manhattan law enforcement source told The Post.

The Lululemon store at 592 Fifth Avenue, which Traficante has hit several times. Google Maps

Cops nabbed Traficante on Tuesday during what was his sixth attempt at boosting merchandise worth between $38 and $48 each from the Broadway store.

He was caught on video pulling items out of the displays — including bags — that were worth about $790 altogether, according to the complaint. Then he allegedly walked right past the cashiers and disappeared into the city.

Before that, on March 5, Traficante snagged more than $1,000 worth of goods from the store at 592 Fifth Avenue.

And that came just six days after he grabbed about $700 worth of stuff from a store at 520 Broadway — the same seller he robbed on Tuesday.

“He’s focusing on bags,” one sources said. “He’s hit 520 Broadway six times.”

Traficante served time for a 2020 robbery on Long Island. Nassau PD.

In fact, police are looking into whether Traficante is actually part of a shadowy Manhattan crime ring that’s recruiting wannabe thieves to rob the unfortunate retailer in exchange for narcotics, sources said.

The goods they bring in are later sold on the black market, they added.

Cops were tipped off to the wide-ranging athleisure brand black market scheme after they nabbed three people between January and March — who offered up intel on the fencing operation, sources said.

One of the suspects confessed to cops that he stole drugs on behalf of a middleman who was telling others to steal goods in exchange for narcotics.

Law enforcement sources said police are eyeing one person who’s been shoplifting a significant amount of Lululemon merchandise, then selling it in Washington Square Park — which is a few blocks away from a known fencing operation on McDougal Street.

In January, cops uncovered another fence in Manhattan’s Chinatown, sources told the Post. There, one person was buying stolen Lululemon pieces on Mott and Grand streets.

All of this comes just a week after a Post expose on Manhattan’s underground shoplifting economy, which is costing retailers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“This is not a subsistence crime,” one source said. “There aren’t kids starving for $40 athletic yoga waist packs and Lululemon backpacks.”

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