You know times are tougher than tough here in Michigan when a group of elderly women in big funky hats have caught bigtime attention for thieving thousands of dollars.  The "Mad-Hatters" granny gang are now the focus of a multi-county task force!

In the Detroit metro area, there is a notorious gang known as the "Mad Hatters", they are described by the Detroit Free Press as,

"The Mad Hatters, a gang of grannies who authorities say have been ripping off unsuspecting shoppers throughout metro Detroit, are the latest suspects to get tagged by their toppers."

This gang of a half dozen or so pick-pocket grannies got their name from the big ridiculous hats they wear (similar to those worn at the royal wedding).  They are quickly gaining the ranks of the likes of bank robbers & stick-up artists and have now caught the eye of the F.B.I.  The gang is suspected of stealing women's wallets or purses, then using the stolen credit cards at area retailers for merchandise or stolen checks at financial institutions for cash across at least four metro Detroit counties.

Police say one bank was hit for between $200,000 and $500,000, according to Sterling Heights police Lt. Luke Riley. Police declined to identify the financial institutions.  But surveillance video points out that it's the same suspected gang of grannies.

"They're not your typical suspect for things like this. They're generally not your typical suspect for any type of crime," Riley said.

Sterling Heights police released photos last Thursday from the security cameras seeking to identify the women.

"The fact that the suspects are older women could be an advantage in a crime spree, Riley said. Banks and stores "may be a little more inclined to give them a little more leeway."

I hope this kind of thing doesn't spawn an outbreak here in West Michigan.  I can almost hear it now... The Depends Posse strikes again!  Or, The Dentu-Cream Crew is responsible for a bank robbery!  The Detroit Free Press has also released several great stories on this gang, detailing what authorities are saying and doing about them.

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