The Real Cost of Chewing Tobacco

Police in Washington State foiled a near-perfect bank robbery this week by using DNA evidence they extracted from the suspect’s spittoon.

In September, the man allegedly pepper-sprayed an armored-car guard and ran off with a bag full of money. Witnesses called police, describing the suspect as a man in a blue shirt, construction vest, and particle mask. The cops arrived to see a dozen men matching that description aimlessly milling around near the bank.

It turns out these decoys had been lured to the site by an ad posted on Craigslist that promised construction work to anyone who showed up wearing a “yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask … and, if possible, a blue shirt.”

While police sorted through the decoys, the suspected robber ditched his disguise, ran to a nearby creek, and escaped downstream on an inner tube.

All police were left with was the suspect’s disguise, which was recovered after the robbery. DNA was eventually pulled from the discarded particle mask. But how could it be matched to the robber?

As it happens, police had been trailing a man, 28-year-old Anthony Curcio, for some time. Without his knowledge, they snagged a sample of his DNA from a container he’d been using as a spittoon for his chewing tobacco. The DNA matched the sample from the discarded mask, and police arrested Curcio last week in a department-store parking lot. He is now in custody in Snohomish County, Wash.

We’ve blogged about the true price of smoking a pack of cigarettes (it’s close to $222). But chewing tobacco may have cost this man far more.

Lee J

I just love the imaginative use of Craigslist and an Inner tube to aid in a bank robbery! lol You couldn't make it up....

Anonymous Coward

Bobby G #9 - the inner tube was used to float away from the scene of the crime on a nearby creek that connects to a major river. It was one of many clues that the guy was a local. Tiny Town crime never pays. Even the homeless are nosey. Summary of his capture: Nosey small town, lazy dropping of mask, clues to his local knowledge.

John F

"I'd like to spit some Beech-Nut in that dude's eyes."

Bobby G

He should have just dropped a fake particle mask. What role did the inner tube play?!?!


I went to school with this guy--I'm actually kind of impressed, but not surprised. Haha! I think he chewed then too. XP I remember hearing about this at the beginning (small town roots have a far reach!), and the story just keeps getting better and better.


giving money to any cause that has the word 'children' in it!

Anonymous Coward

Great plan, poor execution.

This is more LMAO than LOL, but I guess it is all in how well you know the town and the guy.


Amen, Derick!


this sounds like the thomas crown affair- except he smoked cigars- is classier, and didn't get caught


most creative use of craigslist for illegal gain I've heard in a while.


Quite simply: lol.


I heard this guy was wigged out and living in some fantasy land where he thought he was Tony Soprano. Well wake up Tony you aren't in todo are in the big house with Bubba son.

Nicole, Gullett

Political interference is happening at Justice across the department,” said Eubanks. “When decisions are made now in the Bush attorney general’s office, politics is the primary consideration . . . The rule of law goes out the window

Jon, Cain

The theory rests on the fact that the surface of malignant cells are studded with molecules that can prime the immune system’s T cells, for instance, to attack the cancer cells, or act as homing signals that lure antibodies to munch up and destroy the cells.