Tam is surprisingly (to me, at least) gentle on the Colorado Po Po who, when chasing a bank robber of no description, went all Papieren, bitte on the good burghers of the fair town. A bunch of the comments over there are shading towards the cut 'em some slack, policing is a hard job side of the argument. Sorry, I don't buy it. It's as easy as 1-2-3.
1. If only modern technology might advance to the point where a tracking device hidden in a stack of 20s could be slipped into the robber's swag bag. Then - hypothetically speaking, of course - the Po Po could just sort of track him from afar until they move in for the photogenic arrest (suitable for viewing on the local News at 10). It's a crying shame that we live in such a technologically benighted age where instead a bunch of innocent citizens have to get all handcuffed until Officer Fife can figure out which end of the bag is open. And y'know, this same Po Po might even - illegally even - use that same technology to track "persons of interest". [/sarcasm]
2. Of course the bank should want the fact known that the stack of cold hard cash might be bugged. This is called a "deterrent". The wider this news is spread, the more powerful will be the deterrent effect. Sure, Joe Robber might comb through each of the stacks of 20s, looking for the bug, this this will slow him down - rather a lot, actually - and that itself is its own risk. The Police not just violated everyone's rights, but they've made their own jobs harder in the future.
3. Policing isn't supposed to be easy, but nobody is making Officer Fife take the job. If he's not up to doing his duty without clearly and massively stepping on the citizens plainly written 4th Amendment rights, then Officer Fife has no business pulling down a paycheck from those taxpayers. We ourselves are constantly told that "ignorance of the law is no excuse", and we are vigorously prosecuted for selling rabbits without a license and that sort of thing. Well, if that's how the game is played, then play the game that way. If that's too hard for the Police force then there's an easy solution: quit the Police force.
At the risk of going all Wookie-suit, I'm afraid that the only solution to this toxic mix of incompetence and mistakes were made excusifying is ruinous lawsuits that would ruin the town. JayG once asked what people would do if they won the Megabucks Lottery. Me, I'd establish a foundation to bring those suits to bankrupt town after town. After about the fifth, the local Police Chiefs would probably be called in for a chat with the local Town Legal Beagle about not being That Guy.
This sort of nonsense is getting out of control. Either the cops are dumb (which I don't think) or they're lazy (which I don't think), or they're run by Class A examples of the Peter Principle. That's sadly the most likely reason, and also the most dangerous to us. Heads need to roll. An long suffering Republic waits expectantly.