Shana Spalding, the woman behind the infamous “catwoman burglary” of 2010, will be heading to prison for the next decade. The 29-year-old, who moonlighted as the lead singer of a death metal band called Divine Infamy before her crime spree landed her in jail, raged at prosecutors and reporters after her sentence was handed down by Justice Richard Carruthers.
Spalding was found guilty of armed robbery in December in connection with a string of three heists that took place during the summer of 2010. During her robberies she wore outlandish getups, including a cat mask during the robbery of an Arche shoe store on Astor Place (which earned her the catwoman moniker), and a burka while raiding a Body Shop in Astoria.
The comical, simplistic sketch of the “catwoman burglar” became a viral sensation after police appealed to the public for help finding the woman, despite its total uselessness in actually identifying anyone. Spalding was finally arrested in August 2010 after attempting to hold up a boutique on Greene Street in SoHo. Once in police custody, she confessed to the other crimes as well.
However, over the course of the trial, Spalding changed her story several times, first pleading guilty to the robbery in Queens, and then claiming she had nothing to do with it. Her defense attorneys then argued that she had been coerced into the holdups by a mysterious man named Angel Martinez.
In the end, Justice Carruthers told Spalding that the long sentence was due to the “anti-social” nature of her crimes. Prosecutors said Spalding purposely targeted young female clerks watching stores alone, in order to to increase her chances of success.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 1, 2012