Vigo’s Man. Another stolen car scenario.
In 1948, European, South American and Central American markets were hungry for cars from the States. Blah Blah* and his network set out to meet the international demand.
Already delivering a hundred cars a week on a national scale, he added a hundred a month for export, to be sold at fantastically high prices and through seemingly legitimate “fronts” to reputable shipping agents for resale abroad.
The ring was now a huge, invisible industry. Youths were brought in and trained in stealing cars. They were told what models to steal and in what neighborhoods. They were given the exact location of “drops.”
Each operation was specialized. A payoff man gave the kid his $50 at some pre-designated place. Another man switched license plates on the car that “drop point.” Still another drove the car to a die-out garage. Here more experts went to work, using specially developed techniques to change serial and engine numbers.
The car was given a complete spray-gun paint job — by an expert.
Locks were removed and replaced by new locks and keys. The interior was vacuumed, pockets and trunks emptied, tires changed or shifted around, every possible identification changed or eliminated.
Other undercover men worked their way into the confidence of the ring’s underlings and in the fall of 1953 the agents began setting up a big deal. It would involve hundreds of cars for shipment overseas.
Taken FromWill Oursler, “Hot Car King, The American Weekly, January 9, 1955, 7ff.
my bold, dude for the heads up
No mention was made of Vigorito ever shipping cars to Australia.
But if he did ..
How it would work.
Vigorito is at the dock, watching one of his near-new Oldsmobiles being lifted up and into the hold. Lifted and lowered with great care as Vigo has influence everywhere.
some weeks later ..
One of Vigo’s men watched just as closely as the car was lowered to the Adelaide dockside. An hour later he was driving it to a lockup.
A prospective buyer arrives and approves the merchandise.
The buyer hands his cash to Vigo’s man. Who is accountable only to Vigo without the interference of banks or wire transfers.
Car paid for.
Increase that scenario to a shipment of a dozen of Vigo’s cars to various Aus ports and by the time the job’s done Vigo’s man has too much cash to fit into his pockets and has to stuff it into his spare socks and carry it around in a suitcase.
And there’s enough this time to tempt a man to keep it. Not go home.
Find the girl.
And hope Vigo doesn’t find him.
Because that will mean the end.
On the morning of December 1948 a man was found dead on Somerton Beach. A slip of paper in his pocket reading Tamam Shud.
Look for Persia.