Anthony Del Broccolo
I had to do was get inside Balabbo's brain and stay one step ahead
of him -- and I didn't need the FBI or the fakaktah Postal Police
to help me do that.
I also had a major advantage. The fake Anthony was even dumber than
the real one. And he was starting to get sloppy.
I made a trip to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, I found out that while renting
the Ford F150 truck, he made the mistake of leaving his real phone
number as an emergency contact.
weeks into the investigation, this was the big break I had been
looking for. I started strutting around my apartment, all full of
confidence and bravado -- until I looked out my window to see a
guy about 5'9" tall, with brown hair, standing in front of
a black, Ford F150. I immediately dove behind the couch to hide.
I nervously peered back out the window, I couldn't believe my eyes.
There was Balabbo -- the guy who was making my life miserable for
the past few weeks -- and I was looking right at him! And he wasn't
that athletic looking.
of me wanted to confront him. An even bigger part of me wanted to
take a 5-iron and shove it up his ass sideways. But those would
have been rookie mistakes. Sure, I'd get some temporary satisfaction,
but I'd completely compromise my investigation and give away any
tactical advantages I had already gained!
I contemplated my next move, it dawned on me that he was probably
out there waiting for UPS to deliver his Euros. And I had what he
wanted. So, I decided to do a little role-playing and called the
number he had left with the car rental place. His voice mail picked
up, so I left a message.
Anthoneee -- this is UPS
we tried to deliver a package for
you this morning. Please call us back at our regional office in
Van Nuys to reschedule delivery." I left my phone number and
so, the odds were slim that he'd be stupid enough to call back,
and yes, my accent was horribly racist, but I really wanted to nail
that evening, while sitting in a coffee shop, my cell phone started
ringing. I recognized the number in my caller ID. Imagine the confusion
on my fellow patron's faces when I answered, "UPS, how can
I help you?"
actually responded by saying, "Hi, this is Anthony Del Broccolo."
my best to suppress my anger and sound like a legit UPS guy. "Um
okay, well we uh
have two delivery windows open on Monday,
one between 9:00 and 12:00 and another between 2:00 and 5:00."
took the 9:00 and 12:00. He clearly wanted his afternoon free to
spend more of my money.
then he made a monumental mistake. He asked if we could, instead,
deliver the package to his girlfriend Stacy's house in Silverlake.
Barely able to contain my glee, I wrote down Stacy's address, then
told him that we'd see him Monday at her house between 9:00 and
for you civilians out there, I had just orchestrated something we
detectives commonly refer to as a "sting." And now that
the trap was set, I felt my job was done. It was time to leave a
message for my friends at the bureau.
Conroy, it's Del Broccolo. Listen, our man's expecting a delivery
on Monday between 9:00 and 12:00. You think you can have your boys
in place by 8:30?"
shocked to learn that Agent Conroy had no interest in participating
in my sting! He explained that, while my detective work was impressive,
the FBI couldn't arrest someone based solely on information gathered
by an ordinary civilian.
civilian?! Please. I'm a vigilante, goddamnit! Besides, I had already
done the hard part! All the FBI had to do was show up, arrest the
guy, and get the glory.
of this mattered to Agent Conroy. He also strongly cautioned me
against taking any further action on my own. I was devastated. All
that hard work, and now Balabbo was going to get away with it?!
way. Not on my watch.
not have had the power to arrest him, but I was going to make sure
Balabbo knew that I beat him at his own game -- and if I scared
him a little in the process -- even better. So, I decided to call
this message is for Anthony Del Broccolo. Hey Anthony, this is Anthony.
Y'know, the real Anthony. Listen, I was talking to Agent Conroy
at the FBI, and he wanted to know where you'd prefer to be arrested,
outside of my house -- or at Stacy's. Also, we know your real name
is Balabbo and that's really fun to say. Balabbo. Balabbo."
only did that feel incredibly satisfying, it also worked. From that
point forward, Balabbo stopped using my identity, and I was quickly
able to restore my credit to its pre-identity theft levels.
then, just like that, it was all over. This thing -- this obsession
that had completely consumed my life for weeks -- was gone. It soon
became painfully obvious that having my identity stolen was the
most exciting thing to happen to me in years. I loved every minute
of it, to the point where I was actually rooting for Balabbo to
keep going, just so I could continue playing vigilante!
who knows, maybe it's not over. Maybe there are more Balabbos out
there cutting a swath of fakeness and Balabboism throughout this
great land. And it gives me some sliver of hope to know that one
day, one of these other Balabbos will make me their next victim.
The position's open!
version for easy reading
material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission|