The Stainless Steel Rat, by Harry Harrison, paperback science fiction novel
“Meet Slippery Jim diGriz, cosmic criminal, the smoothest, sneakiest con-man in the known universe. He can take any bank in the Galaxy, con a captain out of his ship, start a war or stop one – whichever pays the most.
So when the law finally catches up with the Stainless Steel Rat, there is only one thing to do – make him a cop. And turn him loose on a villainous lady who is building herself a battleship.”