Bail reform lets serial car thief go


POUGHKEEPSIE – Franz Bakter, a 33-year-old car thief with multiple arrests in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie for stealing unattended vehicles has been arrested yet again.  He was most recently arrested on January 2 by city police while in possession of a Honda Accord reported stolen on January 1.  Due to bail reform laws, Bakter was released with an appearance ticket – again.


On January 1 at approximately 10:43 p.m. Bakter allegedly stole a Honda Accord in the area of 517 Main Street.  On January 2 at approximately 7:30 p.m. City of Poughkeepsie officers on routine patrol discovered Bakter in the car.


He was arrested and charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property.  He was arraigned on Monday morning and given an appearance ticket for a future court date.


The average time to arrest and process a subject, namely Bakter, is just over two hours.  Each time an individual like Bakter is arrested, two police officers are taken off patrol to process the subject.


“The intent of bail reform has led to defendants exploiting flaws in the system that allow them to continue committing crimes without fear of repercussion,” said City of Poughkeepsie Police Captain Rich Wilson.  “Subjects continue to commit felonies knowing that they will only be given an appearance ticket and that is placing a tremendous burden on our ability to keep the community safe.”


Mayor Rob Rolison, a retired police detective, said, “Our officers are doing everything they can to prevent these crimes, but, it is imperative for motorists to remove the keys and lock the doors of their vehicles when they will be left unattended.  It just makes sense.”


Bakter’s history of stealing vehicles has been well documented by Mid-Hudson News and include the following incidents:

  • December 11 for a stolen car in the City of Poughkeepsie.  Click HERE.
  • December 12 for a stolen car in the City of Poughkeepsie.  Click HERE.
  • December 15 for a stolen car, property damage, and foot pursuit.  Click HERE.