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Weird Tech: Craigslist used for bank robbery

The advertisement on offered $28.50 an hour for landscaping work. It didn't say anything about aiding a robbery…

Police in Washington State are on the lookout for a brazen thief who used free online ad service, Craigslist, to hire a dozen unsuspecting decoys to help make his getaway following a robbery outside a bank. The suspect escaped in an inner tube on a nearby river.

According to the Seattle Post, the man sprayed an armoured car security guard with pepper spray before snatching a bag of money and dashing towards the Skykomish river, shedding clothes as he ran. Innocently aiding his getaway were at least 12 other similarly-clad men, who were waiting close by after answering a bogus Craigslist ad – thought to be placed by the thief – offering landscaping work.

Mike Stevenson, one of the respondents, told the Seattle Times that he had been instructed to meet near the Bank of America at 11am on Tuesday.

"The email specifically said to wear a blue shirt and said, 'If a project manager is not there, do not leave,'" he explained. "We started wondering if we were about to be 'Punk'd'… Turns out we were set up as decoys for a robbery instead."

Unlock your inner genius

In other strange news from the last seven days, scientists in Sydney are developing a 'thinking cap' that will allegedly boost your intelligence by stimulating your brain with electromagnets. Worn like a hairnet, the cap "targets its pulses" at the more logical and analytical left-hand side of the brain.
Wearing the device for a few minutes has apparently been proven to improve artistic ability and proof-reading skills. Sadly, however, the effects wear off within an hour, but researchers are hoping to yield greater results when they have perfected the technique. It has not yet been clarified whether they will be wearing the cap while doing so.

GPS in train crash disaster

An American man has blamed his GPS system for an accident on Tuesday that saw a northbound Metro-North Railroad train plough into his car, after becoming stuck on the tracks. Passengers were stranded for over an hour and a half following the collision.
Meat-made gadgets

The concept of playing with your food was taken to an entirely different level yesterday, courtesy of an anonymous wannabe butcher who fashioned a wallet, set of keys, mobile and USB drive out of raw meat. His handiwork hit the headlines after being picked up by Trendhunter – worryingly, they aren't the first to enter existence either…

And finally…

Two aeroplanes were forced to circle the Greek island of Lesbos for more than half an hour this week, after an air traffic controller overslept. "[Both planes] were calling the tower to get directions, but no one would answer," a police official told Reuters.

The airport's secondary control service assisted the pilots to land after they had circled for 40 minutes. Police said the controller, who was not named, would be suspended for a few days.

Julia Sagar

Julia is editor-in-chief of retail at Future, where she works across a wide range of leading consumer tech and lifestyle brands, including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Woman & Home and more. A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar (way back in the day). When she isn't reviewing mattresses, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to online flower delivery.