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86-Year-Old Shoplifter Gets 2 Days

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By Brian Kumnick on August 14, 2009 6:49 AM

Where are you now, Morty and Helen Seinfeld? Having famously defended the rights of senior citizens to shoplift batteries and other things that seem to need constant replacement, Jerry's fictional TV parents might enjoy the story of Ella Orko, who, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, got sentenced Monday to time served -- two days -- after her arrest for shoplifting at a Chicago grocery store on August 2.

Thing is, she wasn't exactly a naive first-timer. Authorities say that the 86-year-old has a petty-crime history going back half a century, beginning with her first shoplifting arrest back in 1956. In total, Orko has been pinched 61 times, and convicted on more than a dozen occasions.
The Sun-Times suggests that she was not exactly a subtle thief, either: "Orko allegedly took five packs of salmon, 11 packs of AA batteries, two packs of L'Oreal RevitaLift anti-wrinkle cream, eight boxed jars of Olay face cream and four jars of instant coffee." That's a fair amount to shove into one's shirt, but then again, with 50 years' practice, perhaps it was done more smoothly than one would assume.

For good measure, Orko went all-out with the sympathy play at her court date this week, appearing in a wheelchair and neck brace, and insisting that she was too hard of hearing to understand what was going on. Judge Marvin P. Luckman was not exactly convinced, referring to Orko as "an actress," though rather than throw the book at her, he did accept her guilty plea to a misdemeanor.

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