31 Dec '16, 11pm

Rise in old jailbirds turns Japan prisons into 'retirement villages' - The Straits Times

In March last year, Sato Kamiyama, 83, was nabbed - for the 28th time - for pickpocketing. The serial criminal, now serving a jail term of 2½ years, had reportedly told the judge: "It's a bad thing to do to the victim. (But) I give up, it's hopeless." Poverty did not seem to be a factor in this case. Kamiyama was living in an apartment in central Tokyo and could earn at least 260,000 yen (S$3,200) a month from renting out her other properties. But it was a factor that had driven Tamako Sagai, 75, to crime. In May last year, she was arrested and charged with pickpocketing at least 20 other women for cash and items, in a spree that started in February 2015. She would approach elderly women to ask for directions, using it as a distraction to steal from them. "I did it for the money," said Sagai, whose case is pending and was reportedly living on welfare support. These cases i...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/rise-in-old-ja...

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