Keeping an Eye on Crime

  • BY Lainie Petersen

stole the cookiesWriting for an eyeglass company blog has some strange benefits, including staying up to date on eyeglass-related crime. While I’ve always thought of sunglasses as a semi-effective disguise for criminals, the news proves that eyeglass involvement in criminality is far more varied than I thought: More than a few people are wanted for stealing eyeglasses, while other criminal suspects have been accused of using them as courtroom props. Even more bizarre is the occasional use of eyeglasses as weapons, as well as Robocop-like law enforcement technology.

Here are a few examples:

Eyeglass Thefts

I had no idea that eyeglasses were such a hot commodity, but a simple search for “eyeglass theft” on Google news revealed a surprising number of cases. One story reports that a woman allegedly stole $2,300 in designer glasses, while another reports that a couple armed with a baby carriage allegedly robbed an optometry clinic, taking off with glasses, frames and even equipment.

Eyeglasses as a Defense Team Prop

The ongoing Jodi Arias murder trial has attracted a lot of media attention, particularly since the accused underwent a “makeunder” between when the crime occurred and her trial. In addition to changing her hairstyle and the way she dressed, Ms. Arias began wearing glasses. Some commentators believe that she’s using the glasses as a to make herself appear more intelligent and trustworthy.

Will this strategy work? The verdict is still out.


Eyeglasses as a Murder Weapon

In February, a convict being transferred cross-country to serve his sentence used his (broken) eyeglass frames to stab the detective guarding him. He escaped custody and sparked a statewide manhunt.  (The fugitive was eventually captured and returned to custody.)

Using Glasses to Spot Crime

It’s not only criminals who are fond of their glasses: Police officers in Brazil are using glasses with facial recognition technology to scan faces and identify potential criminals in a crowd. While some people are concerned that these glasses might infringe on civil liberties in cases of mistaken identity, others think that they can help prevent serious crimes from occurring at large events.