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Shocking Number of Fugitives Hiding in East St. Louis Nursing Homes

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Don't get burgled, grandma!
In a sweep called "Operation Guardian," the state of Illinois is ferreting out wanted criminals blending in among nursing home populations. The Belleville News-Democrat just ran a story on their raid in Metro East, and in Daily RFT's opinion, that newspaper buried the lede:
In the 12 homes where [Illinois Attorney General Lisa] Madigan's office has conducted the compliance checks, authorities have found 61 people wanted on warrants and made 12 arrests, said Kara Smith, Madigan's deputy chief of staff.
WOW. That's a lot of naughty seniors.

Kara Smith, the AG's chief of staff, tells Daily RFT that the offenses of 49 patients who weren't arrested ranged from disorderly conduct to sex offenses and attempted murder. They weren't arrested, Smith said, either because the warrants had geographic restrictions on them or because the patients were in such poor health they couldn't be easily transported.

"The impression that most people have is that nursing homes are nice places where old people are taken care of," Smith observes. "But in the homes we're worried about, that's not the case. There are extraordinarily young patients in some of these facilities, and they're mixed with geriatric patients, so you have a volatile mix."

Nursing home operators are required by law to identify fugitives living in their facilities. Apparently, some of these operators weren't doing that.

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