Sabotage of police data collection

Zeke, a records clerk, recounts his and workmate's sabotage of the Arizona police car registration information.

Submitted by libcom on December 30, 2005

A long time ago, in the pre-computerised days, I got a job with the records department of the Arizona Division of Motor Vehicles. I thought I'd be doing mindless filing from midnight to eight, but when I got there, I found that I was sitting there looking up vehicle registration numbers for cops who were investigating people. I said, "Oh Jesus is this really what I want to do?" I couldn't afford to quit - I only had a hundred dollars - so I figured I could stand it for a while.

Four or five days after I started, I get this one cop who calls up and gives me half a dozen phone numbers and says, "Yeah, we got a pot party under observation and we're going to get these guys. Give me the information on them." I thought, "Oh, man!" and I just made up vehicle registration info: phony names and phony addresses for all of them. I never heard much more about it.

The following week, a narcotics agent calls and identifies himself as such. I gave him phony information too. This friend of mine was working there and started doing the same thing. Narcs would call in occasionally, and about seventy-five percent of the time, we'd give them bad information. This went on for about two and a half months, until we got word that detectives were coming around, talking to our supervisor. We called her the "peg woman" and she was absolutely awful. We got called in and she said,

"Somebody is giving the police false information and we can't prove it's you, but if it happens again, we're going to fire everyone in the department." My friend and I had both just gotten out of prison for dope dealing and both of us were selling major quantities of pot at the time. I sort of felt like a Jew helping run a concentration camp. So at that point we both decided to quit rather than start giving the cops correct information. Fortunately, they were never able to pin it on us.

This is an edited extract from Sabotage in the American Workplace by Martin Sprouse taken from

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