Criminals are of different types. To name a few, there are born criminals, hardcore criminals, induced criminals, criminals by mistake and so on.
If you study the background of born criminals, you will find that they have exhibited a criminal tendency or a liking to doing wrong things right from their childhood. We may not notice or realise their attitude or aptitude to do things against the set norms of a household or society in the beginning and may brush it off as childhood pranks or adolescent mischief etc. But by the time we realise that it was their mindset that prompted them to do wrong things, things would have slipped out of our hands. They are sort of addicted to committing crimes and they are least bothered about the outcome of what they do or the fact that they would be punished if they are caught.
Hardcore criminals are also almost of a similar nature but they may be born criminals or otherwise. They become seasoned criminals over a period of time and are almost without any basic human emotions.
Induced criminals are those who start committing crimes by influence or coercion of others. Most of the time, they are trapped, by some means, into committing a crime and then they find it difficult to get out of the vicious circle.
People who become criminals by mistake are those who commit some crime due to different reasons like a fist of anger, provocation, self-defence, private defence etc. They may or may not continue to commit crimes.
Born criminals and hardcore criminals do neither bother about the law nor are afraid of punishments and they seldom (almost never) repent. Induced criminals will be afraid of the consequences but they might not be able to find a way out to escape from the 'Sword of Damocles' hanging above their heads. Most of the time, they are sandwiched between law of the land and the pressure of their gang leaders. The last category I have mentioned do, mostly, repent and desist from committing such crimes once they complete their punishment.
So, it is not that all the criminals think, act and react similarly. It is more of a psychological factor and it would do good to society if the law enforcement agencies approach them in such a manner.
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost