UPPER WEST SIDE — This alleged thief wasn't a penny pincher.
Rui Mei, a 37-year-old city employee, was arrested Tuesday morning at gourmet grocer Whole Foods after he was caught shoplifting $16.51 in food items, police said.
Mei, who works for the Department of Housing, Preservation & Development, was nabbed at 10:25 a.m. at the Whole Foods at 808 Columbus Ave., in the Columbus Square shopping and luxury apartment complex, officials said.
A spokesman for Whole Foods declined to comment on the arrest or provide further details on what Mei allegedly stole.
HPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.