Thursday, June 16, 1977

Police Fence Leaves Behind 73 Indictments

A corporation (UCC Corp - as in Under Cover Cop) established by New York Detectives last December as a fake fence has gone out of business leaving behind a bizarre story in which the police bought more than 1000 stolen Government checks - mostly Social Security payments - paying 10 cents on the dollar for checks with a face value of about $250,000.

In their one-story building in a quiet residential section of Queens, the detectives also bought such items as four brand new automobiles for $250 each.

The way the arrests were made was among the most comic aspects of the curious business career of the detectives. A few weeks ago the decision was made to wind up business so during the month thieves were paid for stolen property with IOUs instead of cash and were told to come with their slips of paper on Thursday night to get their money.

“Even on their way to jail,” said Capt Herron with a grin, “some of them were saying they ought to get cash for their IOUs.

The detectives had one rule that they found difficult but necessary. When customers arrived at the UCC Corp they had to turn over all their weapons with the understanding that the guns would be returned when they left. “We gave back the guns,” said Detective Gerald Lorig, “but it was a tough thing to give a loaded gun to these characters.”

“We intend to come down hard on these people because so many of them were stealing from the elderly.” Many of the victims thought the checks had been delayed or possibly lost. Four of those indicted were postal employees.

“They would come in and say they had something to sell. Then they would dicker about the price.”

excerpt from NYT 6/16/77

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