Now, on any mission that includes the possibility of shoot-outs and bandits, you've got to choose the proper equipment. To that end, I paid careful attention to my choice of vehicle. The only way I could keep up with a Raptor, I reasoned, was with another Raptor. So that's what I've got-a 5.4-liter V-8 model in an orange-red hue that is approximately the color of a nuclear explosion. We won't be sneaking up on anybody.
Truck cred established, I was still worried that the Yuma cops would perceive me as some kind of East Coast city slicker who wouldn't know a rattlesnake from a bolo tie. So I bought a cowboy hat at a Yuma gas station (in Yuma, you can buy cowboy hats at gas stations), and I've got my aviator sunglasses, which Jimmy approvingly refers to as "cop shades." Finally, knowing that my hairless upper lip won't cut it out here, I've brought prosthetic assistance -- an array of Mustache Party-brand fake mustaches. The Bandit model, in particular, nicely complements my cop shades and cowboy hat. I feel like I want to draw on someone, shoot the gun out of his hand, and then say, "I was justified."
Too bad the paperwork I filled out back at the station explicitly prohibits civilians from packing weapons in police cars. So I don't have a gun, although I did look into getting one -- a local dealer boasts that it specializes in "politically incorrect black guns with extended magazines." Damn straight. Yuma isn't buying those new politically correct guns, with their recycled bamboo stocks and fair-trade ammo.
In any case, it appears that the Yuma police Raptor is all set when it comes to firepower. I'm in the passenger seat, and behind me is a vertical rack that holds a semiautomatic .223 rifle. Riding shotgun to the rifle: a shotgun. Perhaps more important than both, the truck's radio system can summon the mighty ordnance of the U.S. government. Apache attack helicopter, anyone?
But in the Grand Theft Auto hijinks of the Mexican/American border, even an Apache might not save the day. "Before the fence went up," Wilmot says, "there was a big problem with tractor theft. The farms go right down to the border, and the farmers leave their tractors out in the fields at night." This led to problems, because what a tractor lacks in speed, it makes up for with a certain unstoppability. "We had an Apache fly down and get right in front of a stolen tractor that was heading for Mexico, but he wouldn't stop. He was going to ram the helicopter, so they had to let him go." Tractor chicken? Apparently, Mexican farm-equipment thieves take their cues from the iconic Kevin Bacon film Footloose.