The Denver Police Force Straight-Up Robbed People
The Denver Post
Most people know about the widespread corruption of the Los Angeles Police Department in the late '90s, thanks to pop culture touchstones like The Shield, Training Day, and Demolition Man. For a time, the LAPD had decided that the only way to handle gangs was to become an even bigger, more dangerous gang -- one which could arrest, attack, and even rob criminals with impunity. What most people don't know is that almost the same thing happened with the Denver Police Department 30 years prior, except that they didn't even bother with the "fighting fire with fire" shtick. Nope, they cut out the middleman and started robbing businesses themselves.
Between 1961 and 1962, the Denver Police Department ripped off more than 200 businesses every which way they could. First, an officer or two would get friendly with the owners, asking questions like if they had security guards or silent alarms, or which character they identified most with in Ocean's Eleven. If the answers were "no," "no," and "Andy Garcia," the cops would break into the building, crack the safe, and make off with their cash. Everywhere certain Denver police officers went, loss of money followed. Seems like an easy pattern to crack, but the cops found it quite easy to keep the ruse going, on account of frequently being assigned to investigate their own crimes.
Like this crime against both literature and Photoshop.
That is, until officer Art Winstanley and his accomplice sped away from two non-crooked cops, causing a stolen safe to careen out of their trunk and nearly hit the pursuing patrol car. As you may have guessed, Winstanley was eventually arrested.
Denver Police Department