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Octogenarian accused of theft crimes in California

Posted on in Criminal Defense

California officials say that an 82-year-old woman will be facing seven counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary after a police detective says that he recognized the woman's hair in a security video. Law enforcement says that the woman has a so-called M.O. that has led to many arrests for California theft crimes. The woman reportedly told authorities after her arrest last week that this is a case of mistaken identity.

Like the current allegations, in 2009 a Torrance Police detective had claimed to have recognized the woman in a security video, based upon a bulletin issued several years earlier from Beverly Hills. After that incident, the woman was given a three year prison term, and was released on parole after serving nine months.

The newest charges are being brought in Los Angeles County. Authorities say that the woman targeted doctor's offices. Police began receiving reports from doctor's offices claiming that cash was missing from the office. That is when detectives looked to find security videos, and one detective says that he recognized the woman's hair on the footage. Authorities say that the alleged thefts fit the woman's M.O.

News reports say that the woman has been sentenced to time behind bars at least nine times for burglary in Southern California. The Los Angeles Times says that the woman has a long history of arrests, dating back to 1955. In 1957, she reportedly was committed to a hospital after being found to have metal issues after an arrest for murder.

Authorities say the woman hid in the doctor's offices before closing time in the most recent allegations. Police believe that the woman would emerge from her hiding place after hours. When the staff had gone for the night, police accuse the woman of searching for keys in the empty office to open cash boxes. Authorities accuse the woman of stealing about $17,000 in the most recent alleged theft crimes.


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