Crime Trends: New York Geezer Thief vs. West Coast Geezer Bandit

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This season, we've seen a new trend on the run-a-way, and they're no longer toting ski masks and youth, but rather oxygen tanks and elegantly scripted threat notes. The New York Post reported today that a "Geezer thief" raided a Midtown store with a cane in one hand and a handgun in the other. But this gray-hair is certainly not the first of his kind -- back in April, we reported on a "Geezer bandit" (the similarities!) who performed a string of bank robberies in California, and he's still on the loose! And, as every criminal trend defined by its accessories goes, there's clearly an East Coast/West Coast divide. So we compared how these two going-for-broke geezers fare in the style of stickups.

New York Geezer Thief
Age: "in his 70s." +10
Scene of the Crime: Sarar on Madison Avenue near East 46th Street. Eh... -1
Weapon of Choice: handgun. -2, for lack of originality
Shots fired: 3, +5 for the opening threat shots, -10 for aiming at an innocent customer!
Damage: 8 suits, shot to hell. 0
Other Amenities: oxygen tank, cane. +8
Style Points: shouted, "You want one? You want another one?" at the manager, referring to his bullets. +5
Escape Method: speeding off in a shiny, black Cadillac. +7. He had an oxygen tank!
Success: He got away empty-handed, but got away (with cane and oxygen tank) nonetheless. -2
Total: 20

West Coast Geezer Bandit
Age: "70 something." +10
Scene of the Crime: 11 California banks so far. +10
Weapon of Choice: handgun in his pocket, note asking the teller for money. +5, no one gets hurt
Damage: depleting cash stock at said 11 banks. +10.
Other Amenities: bifocals, San Diego Padre's cap. What's a padre? -4. Double vision? +2.
Escape Method: moseys out of store as if nothing happened. +3... we're getting sleepy though.
Style Points: But, man, that takes stealth. +6.
Success: 11 banks and still a mystery. +10.
Total: 52

Yikes! Our fool-proof rating system seems to favor the West Coast Geezer Bandit, but there's still time for our fellow New Yorker to strike again. That is, if he hasn't already kicked the bucket.

[awerner@villagevoice.com]



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