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Scott's World: Con Job On Moviemaker

By
VERNON SCOTT, UPI Hollywood Reporter

HOLLYWOOD -- A pair of bandits involved in 33 wildly improbable drug robberies have sold their story to the movies in what amounts to their easiest and most lucrative con job.

Craig Glazer, 28, and Don Woodbeck, 33, likened themselves to Robin Hood. They stole from drug pushers, but they kept the loot for themselves.

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They eventually became undercover cops for the attorney general of the state of Kansas before getting busted themselves.

How much of their story may be unadulterated poppycock apparently doesn't bother CBS Theatrical Films which bought screen rights to their story for 'a middle six-figure bundle.'

'The Outlaws,' as they like to be known, compare themselves to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

They met in 1968 in a Phoenix, Ariz., saloon after a mysterious killer they identify only as 'J.D.' ripped them off in separate drug-related incidents. They vowed vengeance on J.D. and other underworld drug operators.

It took the vigilante duo a couple of years to get around to J.D. and his 'Prairie Pirates' drug ring, only after they'd robbed drug pushers in Massachusetts, Missouri and Arizona. They shot him up but aren't sure if they killed him.

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'We decided the best way to pose as cops,' Glazer said. 'We'd set up a drug buy, show up with the dope and then draw our guns, flash phony police badges, handcuff the dealers and grab the money.

'Drug criminals rarely shoot at cops. All they think about is making bail. But we did have several shootouts and a lot of close calls.

'I was only 18, broke and unable to meet my obligations at Arizona State University when I met Don (Woodbeck). I was looking for some easy money and an adventurous way of life.'

Woodbeck, a big, rough-looking hard case, returned from Vietnam with two bronze stars and two purple hearts only to discover he was despised by the hippies and flower children of the '60s.

He turned to drug and gun-running with J.D., making many trips to Colombia and Mexico to bring drugs, mostly marijuana, back to this country.

It was only when he threatened to quit, along with four others, that Woodbeck was taken into the desert to be 'executed' by J.D. and his killers. They murdered three of the five dissidents, according to Woodbeck.

'After I met Craig, circumstances took us to Boston where we pulled our first sting,' Woodbeck said. 'We got $38,000 from 13 hoods by pulling guns and badges on them. We gave half the money back to the guy they'd ripped off.

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'After that we were in business. My brother acted as intermediary. People who had been robbed and abused by drug peddlers got in touch with us and we'd set them up.

'There were four shootouts, real tough gunplay during our three years of activity. I won't say whether we killed anybody. But we did put some of those dealers out of business, that's for sure.'

Glazer and Woodbeck wore disguises, posed as law officers of every kind, including IRS investigators. They played roles like a pair of ham actors and involved 10 or so pals from Phoenix as back-up 'cops' for big operations.

No matter how thin you slice it, they were commiting armed robbery. The fact that their victims were criminals made little difference to federal, state and city cops wherever the duo operated.

Police departments took a dim view of these amateurs who carried unregistered guns and illegally impersonated officers of the law.

They gained brief respectability in 1974 as undercover investigators for Vern Miller, then attorney general of Kansas. But they blew their legitimacy when they were convicted of framing two men on cocaine charges.

Glazer, whose family owns a restaurant in Kansas City, managed to beat the rap after many years. Woodbeck served some time in Arizona on a previous charge.

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The boys broke up after that. Glazer worked in the restaurant. Woodbeck went into the restaurant business in San Diego.

Last year they joined forces to make a few bucks from their exploits. Woodbeck had written a book manuscript but it was Glazer's letter to 10 movie contacts that resulted in five replies.

CBS Theatrics will bring their story to movie theaters sometime next year.

As for bad old J.D., the boys don't know if he's still alive. They still look over their shoulders a lot.

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