07/10/2013 02:11 pm ET

Tokyo Seniors Make Up 25 Percent Of City's Shoplifters

Shoplifting is an age old problem and now the shoplifters are older than ever -- at least in Tokyo.

Tokyo police officials say that nearly 25 percent of all shoplifting arrests in the city last year were 65 years old or older.

Sticky-fingered oldsters arrested narrowly outnumbered teen shoplifters, the Telegraph reported.

The increase comes at a time when overall shoplifting is down, according to a Tokyo Metropolitan Police spokesman.

"Even though the total number of arrests for shoplifting has been declining, the ratio of elderly people are on the rise," the spokesman said, according to

"Our survey shows that elderly shoplifters tend to be lonely, having no one to talk to, and having no hobby to enjoy."

The shoplifting stats show that nearly 73 percent of the shoplifting seniors were unemployed and 11.3 percent were on welfare. A third of those arrested cited lack of money as the reason they committed the crime and and 32 percent said they had no one to turn to for help.

Food made up about 70 percent of the stolen items, the Japan Times reported.

Police plan to use the findings to stop senior shoplifting by coordinating with other organizations who can provide services for the oldsters, reported.



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