In my very first Admin of Justice class at LMC, back in ’90 thank you very much, my instructor, a local Sergeant at the time, told us the following:
“There are only two ways we catch the bad guys. We get lucky or they do something stupid.”
Please to enjoy my latest run-in with stupidity…
I’m sitting at a T-intersection monitoring it for stop sign runners or seat belt violations. I’ve already written eight and there’s about an hour left in my shift, so I’m basically watching the clock waiting to go home. Enter Larry, Curly, and Moe (if Moe was a chick). There’s a car stopped at the stop sign going northbound when a Chevy Tahoe pulled to the right and blew through the intersection without stopping. Hmmmm…crime is afoot! Or at least my ninth cite.
I pull out and hit my lights. The Chevy immediately (to be read suspiciously) makes a quick right onto the very next street. I pull up behind the car and walk up to contact the driver. The driver looks like a scumbag from 25′, so use your powers of imagination to visualize what he was like close up.
Most of you have never worked in a jail or been in patrol in a, shall we say, seedier part of your area. Thus, you are wholly unacquainted with the specific aroma that seems to hover among and around criminals, their vehicles, and their homes. It is truly unlike anything you have ever smelled. Don’t misinterpret now, it ain’t a pretty smell. It is, however, uh….distinct. Any time I, and I feel comfortable speaking for my brothers/sisters in blue here, or any of my fellow officers contact someone and we smell that particular smell, it sends up a red flag that something is not right. It doesn’t smell like pot or alcohol. The only way to describe it is (sorry, Mom) feet and ass. Together. Like there is a creature somewhere made up solely of feet and ass. And not the shapely soft portion of the ass of your favorite supermodel. Oh, no. You get the picture. This car smelled like that.
**Meanwhile….back at the ranch…***
I asked the driver what he was doing. He said something to the effect of he was late to pick up his kid or on his way to his aunt’s, or some such bullshit. I asked him for his CDL and *shocker* he didn’t have it with him; however, I can see plain as day a CDL on his lap. I asked him to whom that CDL belonged. He said it was his girlfriend’s. His girlfriend, Janelle. I’ll skip the pregnant sarcastic pause and just tell you the CDL did not belong to anyone named Janelle. Like, not even close to resembling Janelle. The driver was in his early 30’s. The CDL belonged to a 16-year-old girl. Curiouser and curiouser. Another amusing sidenote, the only picture ID the driver had was for a Cannabis Club.
Now that is some funny shit.
I had Larry, Curly, and Moe step out of the vehicle. I asked the driver, Larry, if he minded if I searched his car. Larry said, “Go ahead.” Seriously. He let me search his car. Did you know you have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle, kids? That’s right. You do. It’s a little something some old dead guys came up with called the 4th Amendment. Now, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t gonna search Larry’s car anyways, cause I would have ended up with probable cause at some point given the fact that he was an idiot, but the fact remains. He could have told me to piss off. Probably better for him that he didn’t, but still.
I found a phone number for the 16 year old girl. I called her and guess what? Not a fucking clue who my moron driver is. Although, she did throw in the interesting fact that she was currently standing next to a police officer in a neighboring city and reporting an auto burglary.
Ah, irony, you fickle mistress.
Long story short, Larry, Curly, and Moe went to jail for possession of stolen property, auto burglary, and burglary tools. Whilst I was dealing with these morons, another auto burg came out in our Town. You guessed it, we found the stolen property from that one in the Chevy as well.
So, to review…Stupid Move #1: Running a stop sign immediately after you’ve just burglarized at least two cars. And not just rolling through, we’re talking completely and obviously blowing the stop. Stupid Move #2: Allowing a search of your vehicle immediately after you’ve just burglarized at least two cars. Stupid Move #3: Burglarizing cars in the middle of the fucking day when a shitload of potential witnesses are around and then one of them subsequently ID’s your dumbass resulting in you and your two idiot friends going to jail.
God bless ’em. Job security, my friends.