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Facebook No Friend of Bank Robbery Suspects

To the ever-growing list of individuals tripped up by their blogs (Belly Dancing Blogs Doom Ex-Wife's Bid for Maintenance), tweets (U.S. Secret Service Becomes Latest Victim of a 'Wrong Pipe' Tweet) and other electronic communications, we can now add bank robbery suspects, in not one, but two, cases.

In the first such instance, two bank tellers and their acquaintances were indicted this month in connection with a Texas bank robbery that netted about $62,000.

Susan Carroll, writing in the Houston Chronicle, reports that "The heist had all the hallmarks of a classic bank robbery - masked suspects who appeared to be armed and terrorized bank tellers. But investigators determined that the robbery was an inside job in part because of an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip" that led them to two suspects' Facebook pages.

Two days prior to the bank robbery, according to authorities, one of the tellers posted a Facebook status update that read: "Get $$$." And two days after the crime, she posted, "IM RICH" -- followed, as the Houston Chronicle puts it, "by a rhyming expletive."

Meanwhile, the teller's boyfriend, who is apparently prone to similar celebratory online outbursts, allegedly posted the day after the robbery: "WIPE MY TEETH WITH HUNDEREDS." (The Chronicle reports that the man "also boasted of wiping another part of his anatomy with purloined $50 bills.")

In a similar case, Robert Snell, writing in The Detroit News, recently reported on a Michigan man who was indicted after an informant told the FBI about the suspect's Facebook account, which was registered under the name of -- wait for it -- "Anthony Mrshowoff Wilson."

According to federal court records, Wilson's Facebook photos show him wearing attire (some with Polo emblems) that matches the clothing worn by the suspect in at least two bank robberies. "I'm innocent until proven guilty," Wilson told The Detroit News. "They're basically going off my clothes. Ralph Lauren is a popular clothing line."

The Detroit News reports that Facebook gave Wilson's birth date, cell phone number, photos, messages and friends information to the FBI, which compared the Facebook photos to images taken from a bank surveillance video.

Said Wilson: "To be honest with you, it bothers me. ... Facebook could have let me know what was going on. Instead, I got my door kicked down, and all of a sudden I'm in handcuffs."

Written by Law.com managing editor Paula Martersteck.

Posted by Laurel Newby on May 24, 2011 at 04:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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