Would You Pay $25 For a Bank Robber's Picture?

What’s wrong with this picture? The price tag!

Last week, while I was telling you about the Sheepshead Bay branch WaMu community news bulletin board that was anything but community or news — the soon-to-be Chase bank was busy making news around Brooklyn.

On Monday, February 9, the Washington Mutual bank branch at 2560 Ocean Ave (near Ave U) was robbed. A few days later, on February 12, SpotCrime listed an armed robbery at a Dyker Heights WaMu located at 7702 13 Ave.

Robbers targeting WaMu must be trying to get the money from the vulnerable teller kiosks before the bank closes for good. But based on the surveillance photo of one of the thieves taken at the Ocean Avenue Branch, it looks like there was bulletproof glass, not teller islands.

Which brings me to subject of this post. When I tried to get the surveillance photo of the Ocean Avenue WaMu bank robber in action, it wasn’t posted at the NYPD Crimestoppers page.

I found the picture at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle online news site, where the news header logo seemed merged with Sublet.com, an apartment rental site. The picture was small and it was hard to see the robber’s face — so I clicked on the image thinking that it would pop up into a larger screen. Instead, the only thing that popped up was the shopping cart on the sale page. Yes, you heard me right — the bank robber’s surveillance photo was on sale for $25. The screen above has been altered to show the price that pops up on the sale page.

I didn’t take out my credit card for this information superhighway robbery, so I can’t be sure what the $25 charge is actually for. There is the possibility that the amount might be a registration to the newspaper and a larger copy of the image to download and print.

The photo was taken by WaMu cameras (it was probably the teller who activated the camera switch) and provided to the New York Police Department. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle says that the photo is “Courtesy of NYPD”. The photo is posted in an effort to catch someone who robbed a bank for an undetermined amount of money, so who is going to get the profits from the download of the perp’s snapshot?

I hope the Brooklyn Daily Eagle doesn’t take offense that we have a screenshot of the news article with the small photo included. In case they do take issue, I’ve got a copy of the copyright law — a little thing called the “Fair Use” doctrine. Don’t worry, venerable Brooklyn Daily Eagle, I won’t charge for access.

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