Old folks get no respect, even when they commit crimes

Somehow it’s difficult, no! nearly impossible, to get upset over San Diego’s “Geezer Bandit.”

Apparently the FBI isn’t all that riled up about it either, because even after allegedly committing eight bank heists, they’ve placed a piddly price on his head of sixteen grand.

Old guys just can’t get a break when it comes to being valued by society — or the Feds.

The so-called Geezer Bandit’s nom de crime is based on the man’s appearance of advanced age, which is guessed at somewhere between 60- and 70-years.

Since nobody has a clue as to anything about this felonious filtcher of federal funds, let’s write a scenario for him. You know, like we’re all screenwriters living in Hollywood, saw his story and thought it would make a good story for the silver screen or the little screen.

We all know the country’s financial meltdown has caused great hardship, but the elderly on fixed incomes might be suffering the most, and with that comes coping skills.

From the looks of this geezer guy’s photo in Saturday’s L.A. Times, and counting the age spots on his face, he looks more like 70-plus.

Even though we can see a gun in his hand in the photo, we don’t know if it’s a stage prop. It could be real and unloaded; a toy; or even a candy gun made from licorice.

After living on this planet for 70-ish years as a law-abiding citizen, working for a living, faithfully paying his taxes, married with children — all of whom he scrimped and saved and managed to send through college where they all earned masters and doctorate degrees — he suddenly finds himself on the losing end of the financial food chain.

He’s desperate. He’s on the edge. Close to losing his home because of major medical bills incurred before his MediCare kicked in and his insurance company dropped his coverage due to his wife’s cataclysmic medical condition.

Wall Street corruption robbed him of his nest egg, and adding further insult, the Feds froze Social Security payments and there won’t be any miserly 2.3 percent cost of living increases for two years.

Under normal circumstances, the meager two-point-three percent doesn’t cover cost of living increases, which go up something like three-plus-percent a year.

For all we know, he’s in deep mourning over the death of beloved wife of forty-some years. Even his faithful companion of 13 years, Hunter, his beloved hunting dog, died from grief after the death of his gallant, loving mistress…the fair lady of the house, who always made sure he got plenty of fresh water and choice leftovers in his daily ration of kibble.

Too proud to ask his children for financial help, he turns to his last resort: Stealing money from the banks which stole his money from him in the first place.

Geezer Guy can’t catch a break. He can’t get any respect from any quarter, least of all the FBI, which doesn’t consider him worthy of a decent reward for his apprehension, even after he’s eluded being identified or captured after committing eight brazen bank robberies.

How will our scenario play out? Will it end in a wild police pursuit and flaming car crash? A 37-hour stand-off with a SWAT team blocking off streets and surrounding his home? Or an anticlimactic tame acquiescence and surrender to the law?

You can write your own ending…or you can wait for the movie to come out.


Sandy Sand began her writing career while raising three children and doing public relations work for Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). That led to a job as a reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle, a weekly publication in Canoga Park, Calif. In conjunction with the Chronicle, she broadcast a tri-weekly, ten minute newscast for KGOE AM.

Following the closure of the Chronicle's doors (after serving the West Valley as a community newspaper for nearly 50 years), Sand became the editor of the Tolucan Times and Canyon Crier newspapers in Burbank. She is currently a guest columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, and community correspondent and op-ed writer for ronkayela.com.