Octogenarian Criminal Gets Arrested for Burglary and Bad Hair

Doris ThompsonWhat in the world is going on with the senior citizen set? Last week, we talked about an 86-year-old duchess strolling the public beaches in a two-piece bikini, which is not a crime per se but a flaggable offense nonetheless. This week’s elderly folly is brought to us by Doris Thompson, an 82-year-old woman being held on $80,000 bail… for burglary.

Not for a cold case from back in her ornery criminal heyday, mind you. Nope. Ms. Doris has been busy: she’s been in the clink nine times since 1983, all for the same offense. Now that’s dedication. And she’s allegedly still at it because Los Angeles police have linked the way-over-the-hill crook to eight recent heists, most of them in medical offices, which are her apparent specialty. 


Her M.O. is to go in during regular hours, hide, and then re-emerge at night when everyone’s gone so she can pilfer the cash box—though she’s not above stealing stamps and other valuable goodies should she stumble upon them. Her signature silvery hairdo (please see above) helped police track her down, which should at least urge her to stop taking styling cues from Frederick Douglass if she’s going to insist on living on the wrong side of the law.

Still, she’s managed to net roundabouts $17,000 from her thieving handiwork.

Clearly, Ms. Doris isn’t the octogenarian to sit in a floral armchair and do needlepoint with a mangy Pomeranian in her lap (sorry, I drifted off into a vision of my great-aunt, who’s about the same age but is the antithesis of this wild thing. To my knowledge, the closest thing Auntie has to a mug shot is a really bad driver’s license picture.)

The kicker is cops expect her to do it again. I’m almost impressed that she’s spry enough to keep pulling it off. But there’s no valor in being a lifelong criminal and she's really pushing the limits.

Should special provisions be made for elderly criminals facing jail time? 

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