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Santa Monica Bank Robber Wanted for 'Cultural Appropriation,' News Site Reports
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
By Jorge Casuso
September 17, 2019 -- A story posted Tuesday on the Yahoo! news site reports that an at-large bank robber wearing a "Day of the Dead" mask is wanted by Santa Monica police for "cultural appropriation."The story in the site's Lifestyle section claims the suspect who held up the Wells Fargo Bank at 900 Montana Avenue last Tuesday "may be charged with cultural appropriation, in addition to bank robbery."
"Did they get this from The Onion?"
The Yahoo article is based on a story that ran Tuesday in the Santa Monica Observer.
"Like Barbie, the masked gunman who knocked over a Wells Fargo Bank needs cultural sensitivity training," the article by Stan Greene said.
"If the cops can't find him, the Twitter Mob will."
Greene -- whose image accompanying the byline has been "removed for reasons of personal security" -- quotes what he says is a press release issued by the Santa Monica Police Department.
"It is important to recognize the inherent dignity of indigenous cultures," the Observer quotes the release as saying.
"Use of a Day of the Dead Mask during a robbery can be a separate offense or an enhancement, under the California Penal Code.
In her article, Yahoo! reporter Elise Solé said "a representative of the Santa Monica Police Department did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment."
A spokesperson for Wells Fargo, however, issued the following statement:
“We are working with law enforcement and are unable to provide more details as this is an ongoing criminal investigation," the spokesperson said.
"Wells Fargo values and promotes diversity and inclusion in all aspects of business at all levels.
"We do not tolerate racism, cultural appropriation or discrimination of any kind.”
The Lookout called Santa Monica Police to verify the validity of the police press release quoted in the Observer article that was the basis for Yahoo's report.
"That's completely bogus," department spokesperson Lt. Candice Cobarrubias said.
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