Craigslist Bandit Nabbed
It seems like human nature to root for a guy who pulls off the perfect heist—heck, who didn’t love Oceans 11, Bandits, or the Italian Job? Maybe the Craigslist Bandit spent too much time planning his bank robbery and not enough time watching all the creative ways Hollywood cops get DNA evidence.
A little CSI goes a long way, and Anthony Curcio would have known not to leave his tobacco-spittoon out where the cops could get it. Yeah, tobacco-spittoon, which sort of drains the bradpittian glamour right out, doesn’t it?
He also didn’t give enough credit to a homeless man as a potential witness.
Curcio seemed to have pulled off the perfect 21st Century digitally-inspired crime. Allegedly (all of this alleged, just so we’re clear, because there’s been no trial yet) he wirelessly hacked another person’s account and placed a job ad on Craigslist telling people interested in doing some construction work show up with a particular uniform on outside of Bank of America.
Wearing that same outfit—blue shirt, safety vest, work boots, particle mask—the robber also donned a wig and sunglasses, and then pepper-sprayed the driver of an armored car. According to the leading theory, the robber grabbed a sack full of money and disappeared down a creek behind the bank in a possibly stolen yellow inner tube.
What a caper, right?
Every great caper has a foil, though, and in this case it was a homeless man who, three weeks before the robbery, reported finding a two-way radio, a safety vest, a black wig, sunglasses, a can of mace and a baseball cap in a trash bin near the bank. He left the items where they lay, and when a man came by to pick up them, the homeless fellow wrote down his license plate number. Police have postulated it was a practice run.
Tracking the plate to Curcio’s address, the FBI got DNA evidence from a tobacco spittoon left outside and matched it to the robber’s discarded particle mask. Police recovered a “significant” amount of money.