August 2, 2009
Loneliness drives elderly to theft
Isolation and loneliness drive many elderly people to shoplift and many juveniles see shoplifting as a game, research conducted by Tokyo police indicated.
Japanese law enforcement has seen a rapid rise in shoplifting by the elderly. The number of elderly people convicted of theft in 2007 was 31,573 -- a three-fold increase over 1998.
The second largest group, 8 percent said they had a lack of motivation in life and 7 percent claimed to be prompted by frustration. Of the elderly offenders, 40 percent live alone and 53 percent said they have no friends.
Of the minors, 27 percent said they feel shoplifting is a game and 23 percent said they stole something just because they wanted to have it.