Police Y2k bug leaves seniors accused of various crimes including pot possession and asssault

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anuary 5, 2000

Police Y2K bug leaves seniors accused of various crimes, including pot possession and assault

TORONTO (CP) -- It's not every day grandpa gets busted for pot possession. But a Y2K computer bug this week made for a regional police blotter filled with offences apparently committed by senior citizens gone crime-crazy. In the days following the turn of the century, the daily crime sheet of the York region police featured: -- An 80-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting and forcibly confining an 83-year-old woman just after midnight on Jan. 1. -- A 69-year-old man charged with assault causing bodily harm and threatening death. -- Two missing "youths" listed as being 83 and 84 years old. -- A 64-year-old woman being held in custody on a Toronto warrant. The Y2K computer glitch caused police software in the region, north of Toronto, to read 2000 as 1900 and the suspects' dates of birth as their ages. The result was teenagers suddenly being transformed, at least on paper, into senior citizens. Ken Loney, the computer services manager for the police department, confirmed the glitch was Y2K-related and said it was caught internally and fixed Monday morning. He said even though the Y2K miscalculation didn't affect police operations, officers were less than amused when they learned of the glitch. But it didn't get by the eagle eyes of a local crime reporter who pointed it out to chuckling police officers on duty Monday. "It's a routine thing -- you look through the police blotter when you get to work and see what's up," said Rick Vanderlinde of the Newmarket, Ont.-based Era Banner, which publishes three times a week. "I saw the one about the 80-year-old sexually assaulting and forcibly confining an 83-year-old woman and I thought, wow, that's quite a story." He read on, and there seemed to be a genuine seniors' crime spree shaping up. "I'm thinking, what's going on here? The seniors were saying: 'When I get to the millennium, I'm really going to let loose?' " But when he reached the item about the 83- and 84-year-old missing youths, he knew something had screwed up. He was right. The youths, actually aged 15 and 16, made an appearance at the Newmarket police station in the days to follow -- providing visible proof they were many decades away from cashing their pension cheques.

Do you have an opinion about one of our stories?

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 05, 2000



Don't think I ever posted to your thread. Just a short "Thanks".

As much garbage that has to be waded thru when you read what's here, your ability to bring the "news"; good, bad or indifferent, is most definitely appreciated.

Obivious, the intelligent discourse from the myriad of posters on this forum helps a great deal too. (grin) Just thought I'd say thanks!!

-- Michael (michaelteever@buffalo.com), January 05, 2000.

Thanks, Homer. This is a bright spot in an otherwise dreary work day.

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), January 05, 2000.

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