Woman, 80, gets three years for another burglary

Eighty-year-old Doris Thompson has made a long career of petty theft and burglarizing medical buildings. And although this week she was sentenced to three years in state prison for her latest crime, officials aren’t sure that’s enough to stop Thompson’s escapades when she is released.

“She likes to burglarize medical suites for some reason. That’s her niche,” said Paulette Paccione, the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case.

On Wednesday, Thompson, who has a rap sheet dating to 1955 and has landed in state prison nine times, pleaded guilty to a commercial burglary she committed in December, when she hid in the restroom of the Children’s Medical Group office in Torrance and waited until employees left for the day.

A security camera caught Thompson prying open drawers with a chisel and screwdriver, Paccione said. From the building, Thompson took $400 in cash and checks, stamps totaling $25, a plastic urine container and an audiogram device used to test hearing-impaired children, valued at $1,000, said Sgt. Jeremiah Hart of the Torrance Police Department.

This was not the first time Thompson targeted the building, Hart said. In 2005 and 2006, she burglarized other medical offices in the complex while wearing a wig, he said.

During the investigation of the December burglary, a Torrance detective recognized the woman in the surveillance camera from a crime bulletin put up by Beverly Hills police a few years earlier for a similar crime, Hart said.

“That’s her M.O.,” Paccione said. “What she does is she goes in with her little burglar bag. She takes cash, stamps, whatever she can find.”

Paccione said Thompson, who has used 25 aliases, is a rare woman. “You usually don’t get 80-year-old female burglars.”

She said Thompson told the judge she probably deserved a longer sentence.

“I don’t think this will stop her from doing this again,” Paccione said. “She’s not really apologetic about it. This is her thing.”