By Scoop Cooper
PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA - We all get older, even criminals.
Like salmon swimming upstream to die, elderly Americans seem compelled to retire to Florida. My little corner of paradise is known as God's Waiting Room. Since Republicans outnumber Democrats by two to one, SW Florida should be called The Elephants Graveyard, but that's just my opinion.
The median average age in Charlotte County is actually 56. So, a lot of the criminals are starting to show their age. The long arm of the law caught up with two of these doddering outlaws last weekend, while the rest of the nation was obsessing over the election.
On Nov. 1, a bald man with a gray goatee entered the SunTrust Bank in Port Charlotte. Without brandishing a weapon, he coerced an undisclosed amount of cash from a teller. Then, the suspect fled the scene. I know you're picturing a getaway car spraying gravel into the air with squealing tires, but no. Remember, this is SW Florida, where the pace is more laid back. The aging bank robber made his slow-motion escape on a small electric scooter. Don't laugh. He got away! Despite a dragnet with police dogs and a helicopter, all they found was the bank robber's discarded jacket and abandoned scooter.
Never fear! The Florida police always catch their man! The chase finally ended last Sunday. The authorities caught up with their prey at ... Tampa General Hospital. The 51-year-old suspect was being treated for a previous medical condition. I guess life in the fast lane caught up with him. The ailing bank robber was arrested and placed under guard at Tampa General Hospital. He will be officially charged with two robberies when he is returned to Charlotte County, health permitting.
The elderly crime wave continued on Saturday night. Police saw two women in a truck drive away from a reputed drug den in Punta Gorda. A deputy pulled them over for a routine "traffic stop." The 25-year-old driver was merely arrested for driving with a suspended license. However, when the 49-year-old passenger was ordered to step out of the vehicle, she allegedly threw a syringe on the ground. This aroused the suspicion of the highly trained deputy. He allegedly found a crack pipe and a piece of crack in her purse. Now in full sleuth mode, the deputy observed that his tight-lipped prisoner was fussing with something in her mouth. Allegedly, she removed her dentures to reveal three more large crack rocks. That must've wiped the smile off her face, in more ways than one. The 49-year-old-would-be-smuggler was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia and released on $3,500 bail.
I think I speak for everyone in God's Waiting Room when I say, "We are getting too old for this nonsense."
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