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Keep Dallas Observer Free
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| Crime |

Better Than a Post Office Wall

Courtesy Dallas Is My Home, I've just spent the last too long browsing Bandit Tracker, where local and federal law-enforcement agencies are posting surveillance-cam photos taken during bank robberies. It's been around since the spring, Mark White, the FBI's local media relations coordinator, tells Unfair Park this morning, but it was actually unveiled to the media on Tuesday. White says it's intended to serve several functions: It acts as a "a tool local enforcement uses to help them connect bank robbers from different communities to bank robbers in their community," it provides the media with instant photos for publication, and it gives the public a place to go if "somebody knows someone bragging that they did this or that, so they can say, 'Hey, that is so-and-so,' and then call in the tip."

Not surprisingly, White says the site's traffic has spiked since its public unveiling on Tuesday. And there are a few dozen snapshots from the last three months alone, including one in Arlington in September involving ... the Pot Belly Bandit, who doesn't seem terribly interested in concealing his identity. In fact, most of the folks on the site don't seem to realize they're on candid camera -- except for this guy, wanted for a Tuesday-morning stick-'em-up at a Washington Mutual on W. Camp Wisdom Road. --Robert Wilonsky

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