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'Twittering' One's Thumbs During Bank Robbery

Silicon Alley Insider tipped me off to a woman who has been updating her Twitter profile during a bank robbery this morning in the Big Apple.

" Traveling Anna",who identifies herself as Annemarie Dooling, is a "Jet setting, Manhattan drinking, design obsessed sicko" who is also a web producer for an unnamed "popular talk show website".

She began the morning tweeting that she was really tired. Then she alerted followers that she'd booked reservations for a Disney event. Suddenly, around 9a ET, she tweets some startling news:

"my bank was just held up- with me in it. HSBC 34 and 8. also my whole trackball is GONE!!! im locked in the bank still."

(Note the emphasis on the trackball being gone versus the fact that she's stuck in the middle of a bank robbery.)

Dooling goes on to report regularly over the next hour. Here are some highlights:

"they wont let us leave the bank."

"cant figure out how to call work without a trackball...police just arrived. maybe theyll let me go now."

"i didnt even notice this was gappenning (sic) while i was standing there."

"no i didn't hit the floor. i didnt even notice and he was two people in front of me. i suck.

"Thanks Tmobile for providing help with my sh****y phone while i'm stick in a bank hold up. thats sarcasm."

Dooling eventually tweets that police arrived and everyone is fine. She compliments the teller who remained calm throughout, she reports that the remaining customers have been joking about movies like "Heat", and she expresses frustration at investigators who won't let her leave. "4 of us being held. It's one womans birthday and she is offering me a granola bar. she is too cute. one man has low blood sugar. can we GO?!" She indicates police have identified the robber, but she also starts to learn via her browser that her tweets are being sent around the internet--"someone on Gothamist just told me to fall down a man hole. geez, get a life, buddy".

Silicon Alley Insider says, "as much as we love writing about the future of local news and citizen journalism on Twitter, we have the same advice for Anna...call the police first, tweet second." But Dooling tweets that, without her trackball, she couldn't make any calls.

Dooling tweeted a short time ago "im out!!!!!!" And then she responded to me, "Honestly, the bank teller was great and we didnt understand what was happening till it was almost over."

Update: The NYPD confirms the robbery, but as of now, has no further comment.

CNBC.com Slideshow: Biggest Bank Failures of '09

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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