I was working in California following up on a conspiracy case a few years ago. I was actually off the job at the moment - we had a full team working it, five people altogether, myself and 5 as the street men, 3 as our girl on the inside, 2 running the bugs and 1 playing eye in the sky from back at headquarters. I was on dinner break at this Mexican joint while 5 kept the stakeout on our target, and I'd just gotten my plate on the table when 2 called me up and said he'd just heard that another of our bright boys had been spotted less than two blocks away from me. I shoved about half a burrito in my mouth as I stood up, left a twenty on the table, and headed out after him.
Luckily the streets were just crowded enough to provide cover without making it too hard for me to tail him. He led me on a merry little chase for a few blocks - standard tricks from a guy who thinks he might be tailed but doesn't know for sure, switching directions and trying to be difficult, but I was expecting that. He was acting as though he was looking for something, so I figured he had a ride coming, or maybe was just hoping he could hail a taxi, but we made it all the way around the loop and we were still on foot.
He changed direction then, I guess he'd satisfied himself that he'd lost any tail, and he kept looking out for a cab. There weren't any unoccupied ones around, and I realized pretty quickly that he was actually heading toward a central cab stand, which was convenient for me.
It's a fact of the business that every single cab driver in the world really wants us as fares. They all dream of getting to be involved in a car chase. It wasn't hard at all for me to pick one who looked like he could handle himself, and when I gave him the "follow that car" he lit up like it was Christmas.
We went tearing through Los Angeles at dusk like speed was going out of style. I think 1 must have been pulling switches for the stop lights, because we only had to run through two of them, and once we got on the highway it was like the race at Le Mans - swerving through lanes of traffic, doing flying bootleg turns through the "Official Vehicle Only" turnarounds. At one point I distinctly remember my driver rolling down his window to flip off a cop as we careened around his patrol car in pursuit of our target.
After a while I noticed we were heading out into the suburbs. Really nice, ritzy ones, too - not at all what we were expecting from our targets. They usually kept a lower profile. He almost lost us once we got off the exit, but my cabbie said he knew the neighborhood - used to deal cocaine there, he said - and he took us down another road that rejoined the one the target had taken; we came out within sight of his taillights, and kept following him through the residentials. We pulled up to a house about seven or eight and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo homes, smell you later," looked at my kingdom, I was finally there to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel Air.