Cracking Down on the Hard Core Criminals

I’m glad the San Mateo County Sheriff in California has so thoroughly solved actual, real crimes, that they take time out to bust small time poker games.

Police in San Mateo County, California apparently first spent months investigating the small-stakes poker game. From this firsthand account, it looks like a couple of the officers were playing regularly for several weeks before sending in the SWAT team, guns drawn, last week. If California is like most states (and I believe it is), a poker game is only illegal if the house is taking a rake off the top. In this case, it looks like that “rake” was the $5 the extra the hosts asked from each buy-in to pay for pizza and beer.

Police also took a 13-year-old girl out of the home, away from her parents, and turned her over to child protective services. In addition to the charge of running an illegal gambling operation, the hosts are also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Good thing the poor girl was saved before slouching toward an inevitable life of crime.

You know, I don’t even care if the folks involved here were taking money off the top.  Can someone explain to me why this is a crime?  Is illegal gambling worth the trauma of a 13 year old girl getting a gun stuck in her face by a SWAT team and then taken away from her parents?

This is a disgrace.

7 Responses to “Cracking Down on the Hard Core Criminals”

  1. Jim W says:

    San Mateo was a failboat when I lived there 8 years ago. Crime is very low there and they have a TON of police due to extraordinarily high tax revenues.

    I’ve seen this sort of problem before and I’ve discussed it with officers working in such places. Basically there are a bunch of perverse incentives at work.
    -the officers who make the most arrests and write the most tickets are usually evaluated as having the highest performance. They also tend to be the most ambitious and most enterprising.
    -the best performing officers usually have an easier time working in the areas they want. The will take the initiative to get the jobs they want and their high on-job performance makes them more desirable as hires.
    -even though many of these high-performing officers appear to enjoy nothing more than chasing down criminals, they almost universally opt to work in the wealthy and low-crime areas. Much less stress, much more opportunities for advancement, much cooler toys to play with, less risk of being stabbed by a crackhead. You get the idea.
    -leaving the relative less affluent and high crime areas with the officers who can’t manage to get themselves hired or transferred to a better area.
    -while all of the safe areas are awash with ambitious young stormtroopers who grill people over the pettiest things.

    I can’t think of any way to remedy this problem. The best people, the best living areas and the money all chase one another. The best solution I can think of is to continually reduce property tax millage as real estate values go up so that you don’t end up overrun with police who have nothing better to do than buy cool military toys and bust up the weekly poker game.

  2. Mike says:

    Hell, we did this all the time at my place in college and took a “rake” for food and beer. I guess I should be glad I don’t live in Kalifornia.

  3. kaveman says:

    Each and every day, Kalifornia drifts a little further towards becoming a seperate country where this shit makes sense to the politicos there.

  4. CTD says:

    Can someone explain to me why this is a crime?

    Because the state and local bureaucrats aren’t getting their cut of the racket.

  5. Spence says:

    You might remember this particular Sheriff from a post on the Bitch Girls, for his visit to an illegal house of prostitution in Las Vegas with the Undersheriff.

  6. straightarrow says:

    There is a way to stop this kind of behavior,and it appears that it will be the only successful way, but it is bloody. Otherwise, just get used to it.

  7. Ian Argent says:

    I don’t think we can say that the ballot boxes have failed us yet – we’re facing voter apathy, not government ignorance. And to be honest, this kind of thing is counterproductive in the long run for the .gov. Another bunch of people who have felt the jackboot; presumably wealthy. It used to be the cops didn’t bug these people precisely because they could make a stink. Now, it may in fact be too late for CA – but it may not be. The Baptists and Bootleggers are weaker than ever.

    I could be wrong, of course. It may time for the ammo box, not the ballot box. But both require the support of a committed minority of your fellow citizens. And certainly will listen to the ballot box more readily if the ammo box is near to hand.


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