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March 26, 2007

The Lail of MySpace fame

Ernest Gail Lail A novel method of police work to catch the bad Lails got all sorts of national attention last week with the arrest of Ernest Gail Lail, who hails from Concord, N.C., and is a suspect in several Arkansas bank robberies.

A police sergeant in Fort Smith, Ark., put up this MySpace page in an attempt to elicit information about a string of bank robberies. The background music this morning was The Crickets doing "I fought the Law" and the Law won.

The MySpace page featured a bank video of a robbery and a profile page that says he wants to meet "more bank tellers so that I can continue my crime spree!!!"

That angle was used in numerous media accounts, including this one from the Charlotte Observer. I saw an AP version of this story on a Sidney, Australia. newspaper Web site.

But as the Observer article notes, the MySpace page, despite attracting over 1,800 friends, did not result in the capture of Ernest Gail Lail.

He was arrested Wednesday after wrecking his car fleeing from another Arkansas bank robbery. Lail, 67, was charged with aggravated robbery. Robbing banks at 67?

"It would have been kind of a cool deal if someone recognized him from MySpace," said Fort Smith police Sgt. Jarrad Copeland, who created the MySpace page.

We figure Ernest Lail's next MySpace will be small and come with bars.