bust - car rings

happyday

Senior Member
Russia
Hello,

Here is a quote from ‘The Client’ by John Grisham:

‘He had busted no less than a dozen stolen car rings by tipping the police.’


It applies to a criminal reporter. I can guess that the reporter helped the police to find stolen cars, but I can’t understand how he did it. What does ‘bust’ mean here? What are ‘car rings’?


Thanks
 
  • stormwreath

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Given that this is a reporter, not a policeman, I don't think 'bust' here can mean 'arrest'. I think it's the more general sense of 'break up' or 'destroy'.

    By reporting the criminals to the police, he was responsible for breaking up the stolen car rings - but it was the police, not him, who did the actual arresting.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree ... it would be better as "He had helped bust no less than a dozen stolen car rings by tipping the police.’

    It doesn't read so well or sound so grand, of course, so perhaps that's why it wasn't used -- not that that's an excuse. :)
     
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