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Great Pretenders: Pursuits and Careers of Persistent Thieves

NCJ Number
N Shover
Date Published
232 pages
This book explores why persistent offenders who commit theft offenses are so indifferent to deterrent measures, and relates the actions of such offenders to social and economic changes that have occurred over the past two decades.
The book is based on the author's original studies, previously published research, and more than 50 autobiographies of persistent thieves. It is intended to advance current understanding of the motivations of persistent thieves and their involvement in high-risk criminal careers. Book chapters focus on pathways of persistent thieves, family and peer group influences, cultural influences, social class constraints and compliance, changing criminal opportunities, criminal career changes and termination, and crime control measures. Consideration is also paid to the concept of criminal identity, lifestyle, and character. The author describes how many persistent thieves and hustlers identify with crime and pursue a lifestyle in which their choices are made in the context of drug use or desperation. He also notes most persistent thieves give little thought to the possibility of arrest and highlights some unintended consequences of harsh crime control measures. Information on research methods used in the book's preparation is appended. References and notes