Interview with Chris Bucktin of UK's Daily Mirror

“I told him he was looking at $2,000 in tickets or jail time, so I suggested if he bought me a nice lobster lunch I could let him go.”

The illegal driver duly left $200 on the back seat of the squad car, which Dowd admits left him “buzzing”.

“There was a lot of anger in me,” he says. “These young punks were running around with all kinds of money and I was broke.

“You know the first time I dipped in I was probably making $23,000 [£14,800] a year. It just makes you a little upset. You’re a young man too. But it gave me the comfort to know I could get away with it.”

“Clipping” quickly turned into theft and extortion as he targeted drug dealers on his patch.