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Crime: An Aging Profession

In 2005, the Opa Bande ("Grandpa Gang") in Germany consisted of 3 German men in their sixties and seventies who were convicted in robbing 12 banks of approximately $1.09 million dollars. They testified at their trial that all they were doing was trying to top their pension benefits. One defendant said he used his portion to buy a small farm to avoid having his kids put him in a nursing home. During the trial of "The Grandpa Gang," one of the gang members cited how they got slowed up because one member slipped on some ice and couldn't get up without help. The same gentlemen had another problem of the group: they had to stop constantly because one of them had to pee.

Another elderly gang, was not so poor. They devised a scheme to pull off a London jewel heist, disabling an elevator, crawling down the shaft, and drilling out 772 safe deposit boxes. They were careful to hide their identities with disguises, but mannerisms were so defined that they were named "Old Man" and "Tall Man" by investigators. They were nabbed as detectives recognized certain mannerisms of the elders, including one having to stop to catch his breath every hundred feet or so while dragging his bounty behind him.

As funny as it may seem to relate to these knuckleheads in the news, the fact is that around the world, not so much including the USA, investigators are finding criminals are older than ever before. Their difficulties in keeping up on their bills force them to turn to the dark side, and although we may find it funny, the cause is anything but that. While young men cause the disproportionate share of crimes in most countries, crimes purported by the aging are rising in statistics. Unemployment, layoffs and heightened medical bills are causing those who would have never thought of a life of crime to turn to the only choice they have to pay for their day to day expenses. Rising poverty rates among the elderly is the main cause: in South Korea, 45% of the people over 65 live below the poverty line. From jewels to a single candy, sticky fingers have become commonplace among the elderly. Just think about this story as you strive to save a safe amount to be comfortable in your sunset years. If not, keep your kids phone number handy- you may need them to bail you out!

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