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modus operandi

(mode-us ah-purr-and-ee or ah-purr-and-eye) n. from Latin, a criminal investigation term for "way of operating," which may prove the accused has a pattern of repeating the same criminal acts using the same method. Examples: a repeat offender always wore a blue ski mask and used a sawed-off shotgun, climbed up trellises to burglarize, pretended to be a telephone repairman to gain entrance or set up phoney companies to disguise a fraudulent scheme.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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