Cops: Burglars took tips from Ben Affleck movie

Zachary Roth
October 19, 2011

Sometimes life imitates art: A New York City burglary crew has picked up a crime technique used by bank robbers in the Ben Affleck movie "The Town," cops says.

Several burglary suspects told New York City detectives that they had seen the movie bad guys spray bleach on ATMs and cash drawers to try to destroy DNA evidence, and did the same thing, the AP reports.

The suspects were picked up in connection with 62 burglaries at delis, discount stores, and pizzerias in Brooklyn and Queens--netting them a total haul of $217,000, police say.

Four are awaiting arraignment, while a fifth is already locked up on an unrelated weapons charge.

Affleck directed and starred in the 2010 movie, playing the leader of a crew that carried out a spate of bank and armored-truck holdups in Boston. Jon Hamm played an FBI agent pursuing them.

This isn't the first time that suspected criminals have turned to pop culture for tips. In 2005, New York City police said members of a Queens drug ring watched the critically acclaimed HBO crime drama "The Wire" to hone their skills in avoiding arrest.