A lot of these guys get caught because they open their yaps. A lot of us old timers from the early days never got caught. When the 414's were taken down I know several people that avoided it simply because they actually listened to the "trust no one" mantra. Just like how the guys that took over WTTW never got caught because they did NOT open their big fat mouths.
So a tip from someone old..... earning "cred" is for noobs. Keep your mouth shut and you really reduce the risk of getting caught.