San Bernadino Police Go Sort of Undercover to Catch Traffic Violations
Typically, when cops go undercover for some super secret sting operation, they try not to let people know they’re law enforcement. That is, unless they happen to work for the San Bernadino Police.
In an effort to bust drivers for a variety of offenses, including texting while driving and not using seatbelts, multiple San Bernadino Police officers went undercover as homeless people—kind of. Rather than hiding their identity entirely, the police officers blatantly stated they were police officers, even writing it down on cardboard signs.
The officers dressed in casual, everyday clothes—think shorts and t-shirts—and stood near an off ramp in San Bernadino. Holding a cardboard sign that literally told drivers they were “SB police,” these sort-of-undercover officers managed to bag a healthy amount of vehicle stops.
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While you might think that you wouldn’t be fooled by this type of obvious undercover operation, think again. The sting got a remarkable 50 vehicle stops, including 33 cell phone violations and 15 seat belt violations. The remaining stops were cars impounded for license issues. Because people are conditioned to automatically believe anyone with a cardboard sign is homeless, it was relatively easy for the officers to catch violators.