Last year a cunning thief used Craigslist
to establish an escape route. Today he was found to be not so cunning when his troubles saw him sent down for six years.
In October last year an advert appeared on Craigslist offering work for experienced landscapers. Applicants were to meet outside a branch of Bank of America branch wearing a yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask and a blue shirt at a specific time. What they didn't know was that there was no job, and in fact they were unwitting accomplices to a bank robbery.
Curcio, 28, a local high-school football hero turned alcoholic and painkiller addict, had spent six months planning the robbery, which involved taking $400,000 from an armoured car while wearing the same clothes as the job applicants.
He was successful in that the crowd of Craigslist applicants confused police, allowing him to escape downriver to his getaway car by floating on an inner tube.
The prosecutor said the plan "stands out for its boldness, level of planning and its ingenuity".
"But for his two mistakes, he almost succeeded in planning the perfect crime," assistant US attorney Bruce Miyake wrote in court papers.
He was caught after a local homeless man found his equipment before the robbery and copied his license plate number, and by DNA evidence linking him to the crime.
The case highlights the increasing use of Craigslist by criminals, and police. There have been a spate of robberies lately of people meeting to buy of sell items via Craigslist and getting robbed. Also police are using it to entrap robbers.
This is causing an increasing problem for the site, which has come to dominate the online classified market in the US and elsewhere.