"Rip Crew" Uses Fake Cop Car to Attempt to Steal Weed
|Pinal County Sheriff's Office|
|This was the scene along I-8 near the Vekol Valley on Saturday night.|
According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, a deputy patrolling Interstate 8 on Saturday night noticed a disabled white Ford Crown Victoria on the side of the road near the Vekol Valley -- a favorite smuggling route for drug and human smugglers.
Upon further inspection of the Crown Victoria, the deputy noticed it had been outfitted with red and blue strobe lights, orange and white strobe lights, a siren, spotlight, and front push bar.
About 20 feet in front of the faux-cop car, the deputy found a Ford Taurus that had apparently crashed into a barbed wire fence. Inside the Taurus, cops found the majority of the 319 pounds of marijuana seized.
Some of the weed, police say, had already been moved from the Taurus to the Crown Victoria.
Here's how the Pinal County Sheriff's Office thinks it went down:
It is believed that based upon the positioning of the vehicles, the fact the rear windows of the Crown Victoria were rolled down, the trunk open with a bail of marijuana in it, a black ski mask and black hoodie sweater found next to the driver's seat, that this was an attempted rip of the marijuana in the Ford Taurus by a "rip crew".
It appears the Crown Victoria had attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Taurus, which veered off of the road, hit the fence, and then the occupants fled.
The weed and vehicles were seized by police, but no suspects were arrested. In total, police say, the weed had an estimated street value of about $159,500.