Anyway, one thing he told us upon his return was that "cops go fishing." Meaning that they are looking for a break: someone who has a warrant, someone who is wanted, etc. They are looking for "the big one," and the way they find them is by pulling people over for minor offenses. They're hoping that by pulling someone over for an improper lane change, or broken head/tail light, that they'll find someone other than a soccer mom without a record.
3 case points:
- My co-worker, while riding with the police, pulled over someone for an improper lane change and the officer not only found that the woman didn't have her license, but she also had drugs in the car.
- FLDS president Warren Jeffs was on the FBI's 10 most wanted list. He had been in hiding for years, always eluding authorities. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia:
On August 28, 2006 around 9 p.m. Pacific time, Jeffs was pulled over on Interstate 15 in Clark County, Nevada, by Nevada Highway Trooper Eddie Dutchover because Jeffs' red 2007 Cadillac Escalade's temporary license plates were not visible.
Emphasis mine. The officer recognized Jeffs and took him into custody.
- Last night, 11/12/09, in Layton, UT, a car was pulled over for a broken headlight. When they pulled the car over, the 16 year old female passenger admitted to having a consensual sexual relationship with the 37 year old male driver. So a broken headlight led to a pedophile's arrest. See the article here.