by Robert A. Waters
If 82-year-old Doris Thompson had worked a steady job, she might have retired decades ago. Instead, she’s back in the slammer. For fifty years, Thompson has been burglarizing homes and businesses. “She’s not really apologetic about it,” a Torrance, California prosecutor said. “This is her thing.” She’s served at least 9 stints in prison, and it looks like she’s got more time coming her way. Her latest crimes were, if nothing else, creative. FoxNews.com reports: “In the latest incident, Thompson is accused of targeting doctors’ offices. Torrance Police Sgt. Robert Watt tells KTLA she allegedly would enter an office, hide until closing and search for keys to the cash box. She is accused of stealing about $17,000, and allegedly was identified by security footage.” In addition to burglary, Thompson has used at least 25 different aliases.
The nanny cam shows it all: a mother and child sitting on a couch watching television. Suddenly, a man bursts into the room and beats the woman to the floor. Punch after punch rains down on her as her daughter watches in horror. Shawn Custis, the suspect, has a criminal record dating back to the 1980s. I counted 21 arrests for crimes such as burglary, unlawful possession of a handgun, robbery, assault, forgery, and resisting arrest. In each case, Custis plea bargained his sentences to minimal time in prison, even though he repeatedly violated probation once released. Because his alleged assault was caught on film and released to the public, millions viewed the horrible attack. Now prosecutors are finally ready to charge Custis with crimes such as attempted murder and home invasion. If convicted, he might serve some real time, like maybe life in prison.
His lawyer called William Sheppard “likable, loyal, kind and considerate.” Except when he was high or robbing people to obtain money for cocaine. Then he became violent and uncontrollable. Sheppard’s criminal record dates back to 1989. Finally, after committing his latest robbery, he was sentenced to 15 years, plus five years’ probation. After Sheppard’s girlfriend lured a man to Indian Leap Bridge in Norwich, Connecticut, the career criminal robbed his victim at knifepoint. The duo came away with $150, just enough for another round of dope. Now Sheppard has until 2027 to think about how he might have avoided incarceration. The judge who sentenced him said: “You’ve robbed people for the last 20 years. All you do is scare people and take their money.” (Sheppard was already on probation for armed robbery.) Now, at least society will be protected from the crack-head.
I’ve often thought it might be easier just to work for a living.