The Santee Alley is world famous for the sales of counterfeit goods. The game has changed down there for the vendors since the LAPD has stepped up their enforcement. The change has been led by the Central Division SLO Office and the Piracy Unit. This has caused the vendors to go “underground” and they no longer feel safe openly offering their counterfeit goods for sale.

The LAPD has really put a damper on the sales of counterfeit goods in the area. The vendors have now resorted to operating from vehicles and small warehouses throughout the area. Once the vendors find a “trusted” customer, they will take them to their stash location. The vendors often employ look outs to keep a watchful eye for law enforcement.

Unfortunately for one vendor, he trusted the wrong “customer”. The subject led the customer to his small warehouse that was located on the top level of an above ground parking structure. The customer, who turned out to be an undercover investigator, relayed the information to LAPD Officers who quickly devised a plan to take the subject out, but at the same time avoid detection by his multiple look outs.

The plan worked and the Officers were able to swoop in and take the subject down along with his large stash of counterfeit goods. The Officers did a great job coming up with a plan on the fly and sending a message to the counterfeiters in the area that the LAPD will get you no matter what precautions you take if you are engaged in counterfeit activity.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants


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