Ask a Cop – December 2012


Illustration: Sean Hennefer

Dear Officer Friendly,
Recently my friend had her car broken into. They stole a few CDs, but nothing major or worth missing. She filed a report with the local authorities, but we all know the low likelihood of her seeing her NOFX album. I know that car burglary isn’t a priority of the local PDs and that is the way it should be. This brings me to the larger issue at hand.

If you ever go to the Redwood Drive-in Theater’s swap meet on Saturdays, you can find two or three vendors selling CDs without jeweled cases, at discount prices by the case full. Everyone knows these CDs are stolen, yet I’ve never seen the cops bust these vendors. My question is: 1. Why haven’t the local agencies busted these guys yet? 2. What can people do to end the ring of petty crime peddling? I don’t frequent this swap meet (or any swap meet for that matter), so I might have missed something in the last few years.

Jaded McMann

My Dearest Jade,
Understand that the least issue in the illegal CD/DVD/Blue Ray market at swap meets are stolen items from burglaries.  Ninety-nine out of a hundred illegal recordings at a swap meet are “pirated” recordings.  That is where law enforcement places its efforts, and generally, not local law enforcement.  To be honest, who does a pirated recording hurt?  Citizens in Utah?  Nope.  The recording industry in Hollywood, New York, etc. … That’s who it hurts.  That’s why you see the FBI warning at the beginning of recordings.  Technically, it’s their jurisdiction.

However, the music and movie industry does enlist law enforcement help to raid swap meet and flea market type places in their jurisdictions.  The LAPD actually has a specific squad designated to counter pirated recordings, and I have no doubt the industry helps or entirely funds their efforts.  It’s kind of like the movie and music industry has their own police squad with guns and law enforcement authority.  Wouldn’t it be great if you were rich and could fund a squad of cops at the Salt Lake City Police Department to advance your agenda?

Pirated recording is not my purview, so I did a little research.  I found news articles that refer to a raid a few years back at the swap meet drive-in movie theater in West Valley City where thousands of pirated recording were seized by an enforcement team from the WVPD.  We know Hollywood owns the LAPD, do you think they’ve compromised the WVPD too?  I’ve heard that WVPD cops are the highest paid in the state.  Now we know where all that money comes from.