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Categorizing offenders into occasional, conventional and professional criminals highlights the psychological aspect of criminal orientation, socioeconomic factors, criminal tendencies and the deterrent effectiveness of penalties imposed on various types of criminals. The illustration that the perpetrators of most occasional property crimes are people form well-off backgrounds raises questions on the factors that motivate shoplifting, forgery and vandalism. Considering that wealthy individuals such as Winona Ryder and Claude Allen have suffered charges of shoplifting, it seems that the perpetrators of occasional property crimes engage in the vice largely to satisfy their curiosity and urge for adventure. When someone shoplifts goods about 5,000 dollars of goods, yet his salary is about 160, 000 dollars, the idea of a crime driven by necessity become unacceptable. The role of factors such as poverty and lack of education is not evident among most of the occasional property criminals. Occasional property criminals act impulsively with little a planning on the intended crime unlike other categories of criminals. It is interesting that the perpetrators of occasional property crimes do not regard themselves as criminals but people who take advantage of poor security systems. The infrequency of the acts of an occasional property criminal means that, they are unlikely to continue with the errant behavior once apprehended. An analysis of conventional property crimes shows a pattern and reasonable amount of planning by the perpetrators of such crimes. Material and monetary gains constitute the central aspects of conventional property crimes, which act as a source of livelihood for the offenders. Conventional criminals regard acts such as burglary and motor vehicle theft as an occupation and often associate with other groups of criminals unlike the occasional criminals. For example, the Flatbush Pulley Gang operated in groups of between 15-30 men for purposes of coordination and time efficiency.
The criminal profiles of incarcerated conventional property criminals show an aspect of internalization and acceptance of crime especially among older adults. Most conventional criminals are able to overcome the threats of arrest and view having a criminal record as a good thing on the streets. Poverty, drug use and lack of education greatly influence an individual’s tendency to engage in conventional property crimes with most of the offenders regarding their activities as a means of survival. Conventional crimes offer an opportunity for acquisition of skills and knowledge required in professional crime. The mode of operation for professional criminals ensures that they can steal a lot and for long without arrest. Meticulous planning and precision are crucial for professional criminals because their activities require the breach of security systems to reach the target without arousing any public attention. The rewards for professional criminals are numerous, and a series of successful criminal undertakings earns them respectable status in the criminal world. Professional criminals rely on nonviolent and systematic skills to achieve their objectives unlike the conventional property criminals. For example, pyramid schemes rely on the gullibility of people and only require the criminal to convince his targets of a reasonably high interest on the deposited amount. It is interesting to realize the influence of varying perceptions about who deserves the label of a criminal on the tendencies of some people to turn crime into an occupation. It seems that the tendencies of criminals vary based on their social status, psychological conviction, nature of a crime and approaches used in committing the crime.