Why Do So Many Criminals Wear Spider-Man Masks? Was The Daily Bugle Right All Along?

Yesterday, a weirdly polite criminal dressed in a Spider-Man mask and armed with a screwdriver robbed a video store near Sydney, Australia. This is just the latest in a long string of Spidey-masked crimes around the world. What gives?

No criminals ever put on Batman's cowl before going out on a crime spree — maybe because it doesn't cover their full faces, or maybe because they are cowardly and superstitious. We did news searches for all the major superheroes, plus things like "Klingon" and "Stormtrooper," and no dice. When evildoers want to seem like a threat or a menace, they don a Spidey mask. Could J. Jonah Jameson have been right all along?

Consider the evidence:

There's yesterday's crime in Australia, where the thief kept thanking his victims over and over again and wished them a good night., when he wasn't threatening them with his screwdriver. (I guess his web-shooters were empty.) He was wearing a "full-headed" Spider-Man mask.

And then just last week, three people burglarized a house in Bellaire, OH, and one of them was wearing a Spider-Man mask (the other two were apparently disguised by a devil mask and a blue bandana, respectively.) The cops found marijuana in their car.

In 2009, a man wearing a "Spider-Man ski mask" robbed Papa Murphy's pizza in Tacoma, WA, at gunpoint, then fled. Also last year, a Spider-Man-masked guy robbed Daphaney Miller in Eden, NC, taking her cigarette case which had $50 in it.

We've already covered the "Spider-Man Bandit" who terrorized Chattanooga, TN in 2008 — hitting at least ten motels, convenience stores and other easy targets over a month or so, before finally getting caught. Here are the grim details, including surveillance camera footage:

Sticking with the "polite Spider-Man crook" theme, there's the crook in the Spider-Man mask who tried to rob a grocery store in Cesky Tesin, Northern Czech Republic, also in 2008. The robber, armed with a gun, showed up and demanded money. The assistant manager, Marketa Vachova, offered him a nice cup of tea and some cake instead, and they sat and talked about why he would want to rob her store. In the end, the man apologized and left. "He seemed like a nice young man," Vachova said.

Then there's the 2007 criminal in the Spider-Man mask (pictured up top) who hit the the Community bank on South Fiske Boulevard in Rockledge, Florida, demanding money at gunpoint, then taking it out to his car and driving off.

Why Do So Many Criminals Wear Spider-Man Masks? Was The Daily Bugle Right All Along?

In 2006, another fake Spider-Man tried to rob a convenience store in Ontario, brandishing a knife and shouting "Give me money and cigarettes, or I'll kill you!" The convenience store owner only had a butter knife against the "evil Spider-Man's" bread knife, but he still tackled Spidey. His wife saw them struggling, and grabbed the robber, tearing off his mask and his shoes. Together, the husband and wife were able to subdue Spidey until the cops got there.

Is there an upward trend, or is it just that the more recent news articles were easier to find? Did a whole bunch of people watch Spider-Man 3 and decide that the awfulness of that movie meant that law and justice and common decency no longer have any meaning? Can Marc Webb save us from more Spider-robberies?

Spider-Man Arrested image via Jonah Ray on Tumblr.