Career criminal Doris Thompson, 82, charged in new burglaries
An 82-year-old woman was charged Tuesday on new burglary allegations.
Los Angeles County prosecutors said Doris Thompson would face seven counts of burglary and attempted burglary.
Torrance Police Sgt. Robert Watt said Thompson targeted doctors' offices. He said she would enter an office, hide until closing and search for keys to the cash box. He said she stole about $17,000.
Thompson was arrested Thursday at an El Segundo hotel without incident, Watt said, and police found evidence linking her to the burglaries.
Watt said a detective who had dealt with Thompson identified her from a video that allegedly caught her in the act. The detective recognized her distinctive hair, which Thompson wears in a stand-on-its-end electric style similar to boxing promoter Don King.
Thompson has a 20-page rap sheet dating to 1955. Burglary appears to be her chosen career.
According to court records, Thompson has been imprisoned at least nine times for burglary in Los Angeles and Orange counties. She first spent time behind bars, records show, in 1983, when she was 53. It's unclear why the records don't go back further.
In December 2009, Thompson was caught on security video prying open drawers with a chisel and a screwdriver at the Children's Medical Group in Torrance. She had hidden in a restroom until employees left.
Thompson took cash and property valued at about $1,400, including $400 in cash and checks, $25 worth of stamps, a device used to test children's hearing and a plastic urine container.
In that case, she was recognized by a Torrance detective who remembered her from a bulletin Beverly Hills police put out a few years earlier for a similar crime."That's her M.O.," Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Paulette Paccione said in February 2010. "What she does is she goes in with her little burglar bag. She takes cash, stamps, whatever she can find."
Although Thompson assured the court her burglarizing days were over, Paccione wasn't so sure. "I don't think this will stop her from doing this again," Paccione said back then. "She's not really apologetic about it. This is her thing."
-- Jeff Gottlieb and Matt Stevens