A man is being held on $US100,000 ($128,373) bail for robbing a bank in Largo, Florida last week, and like any of us about to attempt an unfamiliar task, the 26-year-old William Joe Johnson turned to Google for tips first.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports, the culprit’s search history wasn’t turned over to authorities — Johnson informed the police of his two-step plan (look up how to rob bank, then rob a bank) of his own volition:
After an investigation, deputies found him at the hotel. In an interview, detectives said Johnson told them he was in need of money and searched on Google “how to rob a bank.”
Turning to a search engine is almost a way of feeling less alone these days, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve sent questions into the void — “how not to kill potted plants,” “how to fix weird pain in leg,” “poop-smelling water coming out of shower drain why” — and been delighted that not only have people had the same issues, some have even found viable solutions. Which makes Johnson’s case all the dumber, because the sixth story on the first page of Google’s results for “how to rob a bank” last week (when it’s likely he made this search) is a story of a Texas couple who also Googled “how to rob a bank” before robbing a bank and similarly getting caught.
(The first result, for better or worse, comes from our colleagues at Deadspin: How To Rob A Bank, As Told By An Actual Bank Robber.)
As one does, Johnson reportedly used the stolen money to catch up on bills, then go on a drug binge.