Crooks With Tats: Cops Can Track You So Easily

Unique tattoos make suspects easy to identify
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2012 3:12 PM CDT
This man should wear a turtleneck if he ever robs a bank.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Wearing a unique tattoo? May be better to avoid a career in crime, because police are tracking down suspects more often based on their tats, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Case in point: Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, were hunting for a bank robber with the forearm tattoo "Most Wanted." They questioned a car wash employee who said the man ran by the day of the robbery. The tattooed suspect was found, arrested, and got 30 years. The tattoo "was certainly a nice piece of the puzzle," says a prosecutor.

Other St. Petersburg residents arrested because of their ink include an alleged killer with "727" (his area code) tattooed on his neck, and a suspected multiple rapist wearing "Ride or Die." On the "dumb criminal" side, a California killer was caught—years later—because he had the murder scene tattooed to his chest. Not only do police rely on witness testimony, but tattoos are now entered into criminal databases when people are arrested. "The more unique it is, with a unique location, the better," an officer says.

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