Someone's got to be hashing out the film rights to this right now. In a heist reminiscent of The Thomas Crown Affair and the Joker's crew of lookalikes in the Dark Knight's opening bank robbery, a thief in southern Snohomish County apparently recruited unwitting decoys on Craigslist to aid his escape.
Police told the Everett Herald that a man who robbed an armored-car guard in Monroe Tuesday posted a job ad on Craigslist to flood the scene of his escape with hopeful workers. According to a witness, the man dressed in a blue shirt and dust mask. After pepper-spraying the guard, he fled toward a nearby creek, where he may have used an inner tube to escape in Woods Creek, toward the nearby Skykomish River.
The brilliant part, though, is the crowd he seems to have drawn to a scene. On Saturday, a Craigslist ad appeared offering $28.50 an hour for cleanup work beginning Tuesday. The ad instructed workers to bring safety glasses, a ventilator mask, a yellow safety vest, and to wear a blue long-sleeved shirt, according to the Herald. It's not clear how many hopeful workers showed up at the site Tuesday morning as instructed. They don't seem to have tripped up the police pursuit, though police haven't yet made an arrest.
Really now, this is just one more reason to shut down Craigslist. First, it torpedoed the classified sections of newspapers nationwide. This destroyed a once-reliable revenue stream for the ailing industry, most recently in Spokane.
Now the devious site appears to have found a new calling: aiding crime. Of course, this is all part of the creative destruction that's inevitable in the forward march of capitalism. (You're not down on free-market capitalism these days, are you?) Craigslist founder Craig Newmark simply introduced a better model than the smudgy $10-a-line newspaper classified system. Now the site replaced the need to hire trench-coated or clown-masked decoys. (Of course, if police are able to get from Craigslist the name of the person who placed the ad this business model might be in trouble.)
All this suggests still another expansion of the Craigslist brand. You also have to bring these Craigslist-enabled culprits to justice. Police should post an award for information leading to an arrest. Fortunately, there's this great Web site they could use where you can advertise nearly anything for free.
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