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Batman Movie Sparks Real Crime Spree

Posted July 29, 2008

AP (Appropriated Press)

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

It's a family's worst nightmare: while out at the movies, the house gets robbed, the car is stolen, or the babysitter raids the liquor cabinet. Police in the sleepy Providence suburb of Pawtucket claim that an unexpected crime wave has flared across town, and there is one simple answer: everyone in town is watching The Dark Knight, the new Batman movie.

The film smashed box office records as it made over $300 million in ten days, suggesting it's been seen by 10% of Americans. In some cities, however, data suggest that the film has been viewed multiple times by families spellbound by the story of the tormented vigilante battling the tormented villain played by a tormented actor. And that's the time for criminals to strike.

"That's the pattern we've been seeing," said Pawtucket police chief George L. Kelley III. "Criminals watch for homes left vulnerable. They check mailboxes to see if the mail hasn't been collected. That either indicates that folks are on vacation or are seeing Batman again. In some cases families send a parent back to the house to load up on snacks to smuggle back into the theater. These cases end in tragic kidnappings."

In a survey of the parking lot at the local Regal Cinema, where The Dark Knight was playing on all fifteen screens, there were some fifty squad cars parked, as well as fire trucks and ambulances. Mayor James Doyle noted that emergency and first responders were present "if any disasters were to occur at the theater that currently houses our city's population." Public safety worker were not available for comment, as they were also watching The Dark Knight.

The police chief offered some safety advice. "We recommend if you're planning to see The Dark Knight multiple times, you should make sure a trusted neighbor is picking up your mail. You might use light timers to make it look like somebody's home."



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