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NCJ Number: NCJ 094547     Find in a Library
Title: Profile of the Elderly Shoplifter (From Elderly Criminals, P 35-50, 1984, Evelyn S Newman et al, ed. - See NCJ-94544)
Author(s): G Feinberg
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 16
  Annotation: Data from Florida's Uniform Crime Reports for 1971 and 1978 and from the Broward County (Florida) Diversionary Program for elderly offenders are useful in completing a rough profile of the elderly shoplifter.
Abstract: UCR data indicate that larceny by the elderly is definitely increasing (50 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1971 to 93 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1978). Between 1971 and 1978, elderly arrest rates for index crimes rose 20 percent and larceny dominated the field with an arrest increase of 25 percent. Statistics from the Broward County Diversionary Program help create a preliminary sociodemographic profile of the first-time elderly shoplifter. Elderly shoplifters are neither destitute nor shoplifting to subsist. Median income is $7,500 with most of the offenders being homeowners and having more than one income source. They usually, steal clothes, cosmetics, or other personal goods. They do not commit a crime because of memory lapse or because they are lonely (most reported feeling that they were 'really a part of the family' to which they belonged). Nor do they shoplift because of dislike of service in a store. Most felt they were hurt by their offense, but did not feel anyone else was hurt. A possible theory to explain elderly criminality might compare it to juvenile delinquency theories in which juveniles behavior is partly ascribed to their changing social role during the transition from childhood to adulthood. The elderly person, being separated from the mainstream of the society in which they had taken part, undergo role and status change. They must reevaluate past experience in light of current life situations. Yet they lack certain critical support systems. They may have lost a spouse, may be undergoing role disengagement as well as role acquisition, and may have only nominal rules and strategies of change to follow in undergoing this change.
Index Term(s): Offender profiles ; Elderly offenders
Sale Source: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain Publishers, Inc
131 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
United States of America
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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