PIZZA AND THE COPS

– A gang of pizza-munching, Honda-loving car thieves who cut a swath through the East Bay was sniffed out by police after they left a sloppy trail of clues inside the stolen vehicles. The ring of nine teenagers, all from Oakland, allegedly stole at least 26 Honda Accords in Oakland and in BART stations throughout Contra Costa County and burglarized dozens more over the past two months, until alert investigators noticed a pattern.

The thieves would drive the cars around for a couple of days while munching pizza, strip the vehicles of anything valuable, and then abandon them with boxes inside and half-eaten pizza slices on the seats.

“All the pizza boxes had the name of the establishment on them, but none of them had the tag that comes with a pizza when you buy it,” said BART police Sergeant Mike Miller. “Speculation was it was probably someone working in a pizza shop.”

The hunch was right. Investigators with the BART and Oakland police departments followed the trail to its source – an Oakland pizza parlor with a 17-year-old suspected car thief working the counter.

It was a key factor in the eventual arrest of eight other suspects, all 16 and 17 years old, between September 25 and October4. They were all booked on charges of auto theft.

The pizza boxes weren’t the only clue. BART investigators and Oakland police also found a scrap of paper with a name on it inside a school book left in one of the cars. Detectives tracked the name to Skyline High School in Oakland, where they noticed a stolen Honda Accord sitting in the parking lot.

A 16-year-old boy eventually hopped in the car – and into the hands of police. He had purchased a Club device to protect the car from theft.

– Peter Fimrite, Chronicle East Bay Bureau.

– The following is a direct quote from the Center for Strategic and International Studies report on GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME; the author who introduces the story swears it’s true.

FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud. After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite. The agent in charge of the investigation called a nearby pizza parlor with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues.

The following telephone conversation took place and was recorded by the FBI because they were taping all conversations at the hospital.

Agent: Hello. I would like to order 19 large pizzas and 67 cans of soda.

Pizza Man: And where would you like them delivered?

Agent: We’re over at the psychiatric hospital.

Pizza Man: The psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That’s right. I’m an FBI agent.

Pizza Man: You’re an FBI agent?

Agent: That’s correct. Just about everybody here is.

Pizza Man: And you’re at the psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That’s correct. And make sure you don’t go through the front doors. We have them locked. You will have to go around to the back to the service entrance to deliver the pizzas.

Pizza Man: And you say you’re all FBI agents?

Agent: That’s right. How soon can you have them here?

Pizza Man: And everyone at the psychiatric hospital is an FBI agent?

Agent: That’s right. We’ve been here all day and we’re starving.

Pizza Man: How are you going to pay for all of this?

Agent: I have my checkbook right here.

Pizza Man: And you’re all FBI agents?

Agent: That’s right. Everyone here is an FBI agent. Can you remember to bring the pizzas and sodas to the service entrance in the rear? We have the front doors locked.

Pizza Man: I don’t think so.

Agent: Click!

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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