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    Tokyo’s Elderly Are City’s Biggest Shoplifters

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Tokyo police reported that for the first time on record the elderly have surpassed the city’s juvenile delinquents in shoplifting arrests.

    Tokyo police reported that for the first time on record the elderly have surpassed the city’s juvenile delinquents in shoplifting arrests.

    Among those apprehended in 2012 a quarter of them were over the age of 65.

    Also shocking is how dramatically that number has risen over the past several years.

    1999 saw the arrests of about 330 elderly shoplifters, while over 33 hundred were taken into custody in 2012.

    Officials believe that the reason is a very simple one – poverty.

    In fact, 70 percent of recent thefts are of food items.

    When the elderly shoplifters who were arrested in 2012 were asked why they did it, about 72 percent of them said it was because they were unemployed and 11 percent reported being on welfare.

    Further queries revealed that 32 percent said they had no money and 32 percent admitted they had no one to turn to.

    A criminology expert said that the elderly need more support to keep them from having to turn to crime, but it’s also important to educate prisoners about their post-release welfare options.