I apologize that posting has been light here lately. I was visiting a Young Lovely at one of her family events. As fate would have it, the Fair One's Aged Grandfather was present; and he was a retired LAPD detective from back in its glory days of Dragnet and Adam-12. Needless to say, a lot of stories got exchanged, with the old gentleman lamenting several times what the Department had become. But one story in particular needs to be told again...
In the mid-1960's, the Department got a tip that a notorious hit-man had been hired to kill a city official with a bomb. The Captain wanted to get his hands on this killer especially badly and devised a plan. They staked out LAX when the suspect arrived.
His plane landed, and the detectives noticed him carrying a briefcase. He went to a coffee shop and surreptitiously exchanged an identical case with another man. This was a confederate of his of course who had the bomb ready for the mission. Some plainclothesmen followed the other man. Meanwhile our detective friends kept their eye on the assassin.
In those days, there were no cellphones; and airports formerly had a bank of landlines for public use. The suspect approached one, set the case down and began dialing. Then---out of nowhere---a mugger ran up and snatched the case!
"That took us all by surprise," the Aged Grandfather recounted, "The Captain totally lost it, and in a minute the airport was a madhouse of detectives, city cops, and the hit-man all racing around. Some of the cops who weren't in on the stakeout grabbed detectives by mistake. The airport police actually jumped the two FBI agents assigned to the case."
The Captain captured the hit-man, while three or four of the remaining detectives chased the mugger out into the street. The mugger, however, was a young, athletic Black man who put considerable distance between himself and our heroes. The detectives cut through the horrid LAX traffic and met on the other side, out of breath and not sure where to turn. But the question was answered quickly when---
About a block and a half away, from an alley, garbage pails flew into the street and showered cars and pedestrians alike with noxious food-scraps and other trash. That was the end of the hunt for the mugger; although according to our gruff old narrator, "It took a snow-shovel to clean up what was left of him!"
I guess the moral of this story is that never pays to be an a--hole. If you screw with the wrong guy, the consequences can really be unpleasant.
Fortunately though, LA was rid of a mugger and the assassination plot was broken up. The Captain got a medal from the FBI for capturing a Most Wanted List unsavory. So the good guys often do win in the end, even if we don't hear about it as often as we should.