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LAPD's Secretive Investigations Unit: Watching as Suspects Commit Crimes

October 08, 1988

Your article implied that it is preferable to arrest a suspected criminal on suspicion rather than to get enough evidence to put him in jail, even though a premature arrest may allow him to be released the next day by a lenient judge to prey on other victims. This is the type of logic that allows us to pay ransom to terrorists in the hope of releasing one hostage, rather than making terrorism unprofitable.

I once worked for a company which was burglarized 13 times in one year. The police helped, but said, "Don't feel badly if the judge releases him." We caught the criminal in the act. He was brought to trial, found guilty and released by the judge. Is it any wonder that the police want to get such concrete evidence that the criminal can't be released to prey on victims when no policeman is there?

EDWIN C. BAUR

Rancho Palos Verdes

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