California cops pose in plainclothes as panhandlers during distracted-driving sting on highway off-ramp

New York Daily News – by Sasha Goldstein

They were hiding in plain sight.

Four officers with the San Bernardino Police Department camped out along a California highway off-ramp posing as panhandlers as part of an undercover sting to bust distracted drivers.

It worked.  

San Bernardino Police Officer Walton was one of the four officers participating in the sting.The four-hour operation led to 50 total vehicle stops, including 33 for cell phone violations, 15 seat belt violations and five cars impounded because the drivers were either unlicensed or driving on suspended licenses, police said.

Officers Walton and Alvarez wore sunglasses and plainclothes and held cardboard signs — like those held by a panhandler asking for money — with a twist.

Officer Alvarez helped the department ticket 50 different drivers during the four-hour sting this month.

“I am NOT homeless,” the officers wrote by hand on the cardboard. “SB police looking for seatbelt/cell phone violations.”

Texting is illegal while driving in California, while motorists can only speak on the phone using a hands-free device or headset.

“During this detail, our undercover officers walked up to the windows of many vehicles unnoticed by the drivers that were either talking or texting on their cell phones,” police said in a statement on the sting. “Those calls and messages can wait until you arrive at your destination and are not worth risking the life of yourself or those around you while driving.”

sgoldstein@nydailynews.com

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/calif-cops-pose-panhandlers-distracted-driving-sting-article-1.2302176

15 thoughts on “California cops pose in plainclothes as panhandlers during distracted-driving sting on highway off-ramp

  1. “… 33 for cell phone violations…”

    First offense – $20. Subsequent offenses – $50.

    “… 15 seat belt violations…”

    First offense – $20. Subsequent offenses – $50.

    “… five cars impounded because the drivers were either unlicensed or driving on suspended licenses, police said.”

    First Offense Driving on Suspended License: 5 days- 6 months in jail; and a fine of $300-$1,000.

    Second Offense: 10 days- one year in jail and a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000.

    Total – $2,460… MINIMUM.

    They’re inventing more ways to extract mammon from the proletariat.

      1. Those were just the basic minimum figures for the state.

        Rates may vary from county to county, city to city… depending on greed factor.

          1. Exactly my point, Martist. That was merely the absolute minimum theft JUST for the fines alone.

            Any idea how much it costs to get your car out of impound after a mandatory 30 day ‘sentence’ for expired tags?

    1. Damn i wish they were the fines here. Talking on a cell phone can lose you $1000Au (about 800USD). Exceed the speed limit by 5MPH is probably around $400AU and a pouch of tobacco is nearly $55

      1. Hey, ul, sounds like your jews are a whole lot greedier than ours.

        That sucks.

        Still think the Great Barrier Reef was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen anywhere, and Cairns is the only place outside this country I’d really love to visit again.

  2. Even more pathetic than the homeless. It should read “We are looking for revenue from the people we pledged to protect and serve… we are communists”

  3. “Those calls and messages can wait until you arrive at your destination and are not worth risking the life of yourself or those around you while driving.”

    The greatest risk being ANY interaction of ANY type with ANY pigs whatsoever.

    You’re more likely to be murdered by pigs than die in an accident these days.

  4. Talking on a cell phone is no more dangerous than eating a sandwich or drinking a soda while driving. Texting is another matter. Coproaches are revenue agents who only protect the “State”. Nothing more

  5. Clearly entrapment. However, I am SICK AND TIRED of idiot assholes driving with their damn cell phones glued to their mindless heads: can’t drive the speed limit, can’t stay in their lanes, running red lights, etc. To me, serves the idiot drivers right. To hell with the morons . . .

  6. How about everytime a cop answers his radio while driving his cruiser he fines himself $50…..nothing but hypocrites and another case of statutes not applying equally to everyone.

    Police are the most distracted drivers on the entire planet.

  7. Interesting….And if we the people held up signs like that, we’d be fined by the police because we were distracting drivers on the road and causing a disturbance or an accident. But when the cops do it, it’s totally OK. Yea, I see how it is. What a bunch of hypocrites. HANG ‘EM ALL!!! 😡

    Homeless people holding signs to ask for money or food….FINED!
    Regular people warning drivers of a police checkpoint up ahead….FINED!

    Undercover cops holding signs to check people…..PERFECTLY OK!

    Unfrigginbelievable……

  8. Do you really thing these cops and the scoff laws there to protect the public?

    Really? I think not. Might want to take a look at this:

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