Some criminals are dumber than others. I prosecuted some of the dumbest ones.
An Orange County city had a problem with drug sales in a high-density area. So, the police decided to do a surveillance using their unmarked old beat up surveillance van.
Three officers drove in the van to the target location. There was the driver in front, and two undercover officers hidden in the back. The driver parked the van, locked it, and walked away. The two officers in the back started setting up the surveillance equipment.
All of a sudden, the driver’s window shattered. (Car thieves sometimes break windows by throwing the hard-ceramic parts of spark plugs against the glass. This shatters the safety glass window without making a lot of noise.)
As soon as the driver’s window was broken, an arm reached inside and unlocked the door. The young thief climbed into the driver’s seat, leaned forward, and started to “hot wire” the ignition.
The thief was shocked when he was abruptly grabbed from behind, and hauled over the driver’s seat into the back of the van. He was arrested for attempted auto theft, and the police were forced to terminate their surveillance.
They didn’t catch any drug dealers, but they did catch a car thief.
As the detectives say, “We don’t catch the smart ones.” I prosecuted the case. Obviously, the defendant pled guilty. He had no viable defense.
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