Hungary’s thieving granny strikes again

February 13th, 2009 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Budapest, Feb 13 (DPA) A geriatric kleptomaniac known as “Flying Gizi” was arrested in Hungary for the umpteenth time on Thursday following a bungled burglary attempt, police announced.
At an age when most Hungarian pensioners are content with daytime television and grumbling about their health, the incorrigible 83-year-old Gizella Kosztor set off on Thursday morning for a spot of breaking and entering.

Unfortunately for the light-fingered granny, the owner of the house she picked in Komarom, 100 kilometres north west of Budapest, was at home and immediately called the police.

Kosztor has been known to the Hungarian police for over half a century. She earned the moniker “Flying Gizi” in the 1950s thanks to her modus operandi of using domestic flights for day trips to provincial Hungarian towns.

After a day out on the steal, she would fly back to Budapest with her loot.

Although in recent years “Flying Gizi” has developed a sideline as a guest on television talk shows, her career can scarcely be described as successful.

With 21 convictions, she has been sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison. Even with early releases for good behaviour and five official pardons, Kosztor has spent a full 20 years behind bars.

She now prefers to take the train for her crime sprees. As a pensioner, she is entitled to travel for free.

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