SEATTLE - Seattle Police bust a major theft ring, involving almost two dozen taxi cab drivers. Investigators say the trafficking of stolen goods was going on for at least four years.
Seattle Police called the undercover investigation "Operation Yellow Jacket." Stolen property was peddled to at least 22 taxi cab drivers who lined up in the Westlake Center area along 6th Avenue near Stewart Street.
Many cabbies didn't want to talk about it, but those who were willing admitted they were stunned.
"I'm very shocked," says Mercha Baneku, who has been a cab driver for two-and-a-half years. "Twenty-two cab drivers arrested! That is a lot of cab drivers."
Seattle Police surveillance video shows shoplifter after shoplifter, who allegedly stole merchandise from downtown businesses. They are seen getting into the back of taxi cabs, many of them with backpacks or shopping bags. From the cab's backseat, police say they would sell their stolen goods to the driver.
"It's a big shock actually," says cab driver Worba Wako. "More than a surprise, it's a big shock."
Investigators say some drivers would place orders for stolen goods. In the surveillance video, you can see the thieves removing the security tags and the anti-theft devices from the merchandise right on the sidewalk.
The video shows one of the thieves being interrogated, and he told police how it worked.
"He come pick me up and gave me $20 for perfumes. I did that four times, five times," said the unidentified suspect.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.