Bank robbery you say? Let me just update my Twitter!

Posted on July 17, 2009


Most people would be too scared to move if they were caught in the middle of a bank robbery whereas some people would be ‘have a go heroes’ and try to foil the robbery. However, in this day and age, where updating Facebook and Twitter is almost a religion to many, the need to ‘Tweet’ the experience of being held up in a bank proved too strong for one New York woman this week.

Annemarie Dooling, who naturally works in Internet Marketing in New York, was in her local branch of HSBC earlier this week when the bank was held up by a man. Rather than hit the deck, scream for help or even phone the police, she headed straight for Twitter to post blow by blow updates of the robbery.

Twitter updates

Annemarie had an excuse for not calling the police though, her trackball was broken on her phone so she was unable to dial, but she was able to Tweet.

My bank was just held up – with me in it.

They won’t let us leave the bank… Police just arrived. Maybe they’ll let me go now.

When the police arrived, Annemarie was criticised by them for not calling the emergency services and instead choosing to blog her experiences online. She had to explain to the police that she was unable to dial, only Tweet. She also explained that via Twitter, of course.

Can’t defend my honour because I can’t scroll to the reply box, but whatever – I’m the one locked in a bank.

The robber only escaped with $500 from HSBC, and Ms Dooling made off with 10x increase in her Twitter following. Her 200 followers swelled to 2,000 in just a few hours.

This raises the question, should the emergency services be monitoring Twitter for this sort of thing, as in the age of microblogging are people more likely to Tweet for help rather that use the phone?

  • Tag44 says:

    Thanks for the info and for sharing the tweets.

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