Movie Talk

'Iron Man'-Masked Thief is America's Latest Superhero-Themed Bad Guy

Movie Talk

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The Iron Man bank robber

The Iron Man-masked bank robber in Palm Beach, Florida (Photo courtesy of Palm Coast Observer/video)

This guy's got it all wrong: Iron Man is supposed to stop bank robberies, not commit them.

A Florida man brought shame to Tony Stark's crime-fighting legacy last week when he robbed a bank donning an Iron Man mask. According to Deadline, Flagler County Sheriffs say the bad guy pulled a gun in a Palm Beach Wells Fargo branch and demanded cash Thursday afternoon, perhaps in woefully misguided celebration of the news that Robert Downey Jr. had officially signed on for two more "Avengers" movies.

Evil Tony, skipping the armored suit in favor of a tan jumpsuit, boots and a backpack, stole away in a maroon colored car (which we're assuming wasn't an Audi R8) with Florida license plates.

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Evil Iron Man, bank robber

'Evil' Iron Man, captured during a bank robbery (Photo: Splash News)

The Daytona Beach News Journal reports that sheriff's spokeswoman Debra Johnson describes the suspect as a black man standing at about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. There were about 10 customers in the bank when the suspect entered around 4PM. No one was injured.

This isn't the first time that Iron Man has gone villain. The San Clemente Patch reports that the FBI is currently on the hunt for the "Iron Man Bandit," a masked man wanted for a holdup at a Citibank branch in San Clemente, California, on May 2, the day before "Iron Man 3" hit theaters in the U.S. He is described as white, in his 20s or 30s and about 5 feet 10 inches.

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Spider-Man

Some criminals opt to wear the Spider-Man mask (Photo: Universal)

It isn't just Iron Man who's turning to a life of crime. A man in a Spider-Man mask and an accomplice are wanted for two robberies committed on June 11 in the Midlands area of South Carolina, one in which they swiped four laptops from a Computer MD and another involving stealing money from the register of Columbia's Cleaners. They at least kept Spidey's distaste for handguns, as they never revealed any weapons or threatened to use any, according to The State.

Another perpetrator donned Spidey's alternate black-and-white costume when he robbed BB&T bank in Washington, D.C. on December 7 of last year, according to NBC Washington News. And another criminal doesn't even need a costume — Barry John Williams has earned the nickname of the 'Spiderman [sic] burglar' for his dexterity in climbing up drainpipes and scaling balconies in pulling off a series of Melbourne robberies that have netted him over $1.5 million since 2009.

There are others, to the point where you might expect all these guys to one day join together to pull off a mega-heist, "Avengers"-style. A UK man, who made headlines earlier this year when he handed over a friend to the police dressed in an old-school Adam West-style Batman costume, was later charged with burglary himself. The UK was also the setting for a terrifying home invaasion last fall in which four men dressed in Guy Fawkes masks (popularized by Alan Moore's graphic novel "V For Vendetta" and the 2006 film adaptation starring Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman) assaulted a man and his wife and stole thousands of pounds.

We'd tell these guys that if they're going to incorporate cosplay into their criminal activities, then at least dress up like an actual villain instead of a hero ... then again, the bad guys, at least in movies and on the pages of comic books, aren't exactly known for wearing masks.

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