Bank robbery for dummies

There’s another marvellous ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ story in the local news for Birmingham today.

A novice criminal downloaded a pile of ‘how to’ material onto his mobile phone to prepare himself for robbing banks.  Following instructions from manuals such as ‘How to Rob a Bank’, he successfully targeted a number of banks of building societies before being arrested in a suburb of Birmingham, when he tried to use a taxi as a getaway vehicle.

The story’s entertaining in itself but two things worry me.  One, that these self-help crime manuals exist at all, and two, that the authorities seem so unaware of them.  Why are service providers not deleting the material?  Or at the very least, why aren’t the police downloading the same material and using it to spot newbie criminals from their ‘M.O’?  Maybe then they wouldn’t have needed to rely on a helpful taxi driver to catch the guy…

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