Anthony Benjamin, 33, who has worked as a civilian laborer for the DSNY since 2007, was arrested about 9:20 p.m. after he intentionally bumped into someone in order to steal from them, an NYPD spokesman said.
He faced charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, and jostling, police said.
Benjamin was convicted in 1999 for assault and criminal possession of a controlled substance for which he spent nearly two years behind bars, prison records show.
He was arrested three other times this year including driving without a license in August, burglary in September, and marijuana possession in November, court records show.
Benjamin has been reporting for duty at the sanitation department since his August arrest and a DSNY spokeswoman did not know if superiors were aware of his arrest record.
He was issued a complaint for failing to show up for work Thursday morning and must now report to the department's advocate's office before returning to duty, the spokeswoman added.