An "experienced crminal" is confessing to a series of grocery store armed robberies in the Bronx, N.Y. "Did you say to them [when you went in], "This is a stick-up'?" the police ask.
"Once I pulled out the weapon, everyone assumed what it was," the suspect explains. There are titters of laughter from the police officers. "You know, it's not necessary to say that," he continues.
That is one of several vignettes showing videotaped confessions from criminal suspects -- and sometimes crimes in the act -- on "Got It Taped," tonight's feature on "World in Action" at 8:30 on Channel 26 (WETA).
The half-hour show intersperses comments from lawyers with sometimes too-brief segments of videotape -- the latest weapon in the police and prosecutorial arsenal.
In one segment, a Bronx prosecutor explains that a suspect who confesses to police shortly after his arrest may later claim in court that the confession was coerced or tricked out of him, but that the suspect often drops such claims when confronted with a videotape of his apparently voluntary confession.
What makes the show worth watching is the opportunity to see what criminal activity looks and sounds like. The show provides a brief look at a videotaped fencing operation (with an undercover policeman posing as the fence).
The program also includes tape of the climax of the "Washington Sting" in which unassuming, happily grinning men and women walk into a "party" and are carted off one by one by uniformed police officers.