This article is based on the AskReddit question “Law Enforcers of Reddit: What is the craziest ‘you’ll never believe me’ story that a suspect/ victim told you that actually turned out to be true?” [Source can be found at the end of the article]
1. The true kidnapping incident
I was on foot patrol at the Lincoln Memorial when I received a call on the radio to meet with a woman concerning her kidnapping. As soon as I saw her from 100 yards away I could tell she was a 10-96 (mental subject). She was dressed inappropriately for the time of year. Her clothes were unusual and mismatched.
She proceeded to tell me that she had been kidnapped from the streets of DC the night before but she escaped and made her way back. She told me she was kidnapped, but then she jumped out of the car in Virginia and hitch hiked back into DC. While I was taking her statement a detective showed up. We found out she jumped out of the car at a convenience store.
The detective went out the the convenience store and found out she had indeed been there the night before. Apparently, some frat boys thought it would be funny to pick up a homeless woman and take her back to the house for a party. When she started talking to them about Masonic conspiracies they decided to mess with her. She freaked out and they dumped her at the convenience store in the middle of the night.
2. The coyote capturer
I was on a call about a loose coyote in someone’s back yard years ago. My Sergeant at the time and I asked the homeowner for some hot dogs. We made a trail of hot dogs towards a large empty trash can and hid behind it. I’m thinking to myself that this is never gonna work but sure enough, the coyote follows the trail of hot dogs gobbling them up as he goes. We then jump up and flip the trash can over and capture the coyote. Call animal control and when the guy arrives, he asks where the coyote is. I told him we captured it under the trash can and he looks at me with the “yeah ok, sure. all over his face. He reluctantly gets down and looks under the can and goes Whoa! how did you capture a coyote under a trash can?!
3. Casually land a plane on friend’s driveway
So, Dispatch advises my partner and I of a 911 call, where the caller advises there is a “pilot” who parked a “plane” in his yard and then went to the nearby bar. Dispatch advises the caller doesn’t speak conversational English and the call was translated via a translation service. Knowing the address is on a lake, I assume there is a mistranslation. Someone probably drove a boat up to his dock and went to the bar.
Partner calls me. He assumes the same thing regarding translation that I do. That’s cool. I arrive first.
Holy crap, it’s an actual plane. In his driveway. Specifically a seaplane. Apparently it was driven up the boat ramp, turned off into his driveway, and shut down.
I call my partner. Yeah. You need to come here and see this.
Go to the bar. “Who owns the plane?” Drunk guy does. Apparently he was there to visit his friend, landed on the lake, and taxied to his friend’s driveway. Except he got addresses mixed up apparently. And now he’s drunk so I don’t want him to move the plane.
Turns out planes are light and he pushed it to the correct driveway.
I investigate workplace discrimination complaints. One guy worked for a government morgue. He claimed his boss was stealing embalming tables. “Who steals embalming tables?” I thought. Turns out, the boss was selling them to funeral homes and pocketing the profit.
5. These people are monsters!
Three years ago, working in our civil department:
Landlord wants his tenants out, says the usual things that set off the BS meter: “They’re drug users, criminals, thugs, keeping a prisoner in the mother-in-law suite.” Landlord himself is a slum lord, says outrageous stuff for all of his tenants he wants to evict. Turns out that it was actually true in this case, partially. The tenants were a man and his elderly mother. They were keeping the man’s developmentally challenged brother padlocked in the mother-in-law suite of the house with no plumbing or electricity.
This family had been doing a “rent-to-own” thing with the landlord for ten years or so, and only recently stopped paying. Turns out that they had been feeding the brother through the mail slot in the suite’s door, and the interior had no furniture besides the most disgusting mattress you can imagine. We don’t know how long he had been kept in there, but I have never seen a more revolting place in my entire life.
6. A shark tale
I was a counter-narcotics operator who would deploy with the US Navy and US Coast Guard. One trip we were patrolling just off the coast of Guatemala with intel on a suspected drug trafficking boat. We locate a radar contact in the vicinity and launch a small boat (~19ft) with an interdiction team. It was an unannounced nighttime boarding (UNB) so the idea was speed, surprise, violence if action. Got close within 30 feet undetected, turned on all spotlights and strobes, and began yelling for all people on board to put their hands in the air. The only person onboard was hanging over the opposite side and wouldn’t put his hands up. Several times he was instructed to do so or possibly be hurt if he refused. In all the yelling and confusion no one heard what he was trying to tell us. Finally the dust settled and everyone took a breath and the man explained he couldn’t put his hands up because he had caught a shark and was losing most of his fishing equipment. I went over and saw that he indeed had a 5ft shark fighting just over the side. We helped him pull it up.
Didn’t find any drugs.
7. It all happened!
Night shift in an extremely rural part of the Home Counties in the U.K., about 3am on a Wednesday; Call comes in that someone has pulled up to the victim in a white Range Rover, jumped out and held our informant up with a sawn off shotgun and their iPhone was taken about 30 yards from their own front door in a quiet residential street. Turn up to the informant’s address and I weirdly remember the street but can’t place it. I go inside and the informant is on the internet looking at new iPhones, slightly suspicious. We talk and he tells me what happened, he doesn’t seem at all fazed. As we are talking I remember the street as I was there a few months ago for a burglary a few doors down and had recommended the owner get CCTV. I go over there and sure enough there’s a CCTV camera above his garage. I wake him up and view it, sure enough it happened, everything. Got the registration of the vehicle and the RO was arrested for armed robbery, the gun turned out to be a replica but it was totally bizarre.
8. When spacecraft returns in another form
Cousin works in a city with mountains nearby, stationed at the Foothills substation. She gets a call about a spacecraft landing at a house. VERY slow day, so she decides to humor her dispatch. At the house, hysterical woman “talking about invaders from space” greets her, and my cousin rolls her eyes. However, she says she can show her the spacecraft. Old lady takes my cousin out about 200 feet from her house, and there, in her backyard is an impact crater. Turns out it was a mini-satellite that survived re-entry.
9. These are not my pants
As we were cruising around town we spotted a guy (Jim) wanted for questioning in relation to breaching an intervention order. He was in the passenger seat of a car with some other guy we didn’t know(Bob).
We pull the car over, arrest Jim and put him in the back of our car. As we’re searching his car and Bob (Jim was one of our local drug dealers) I find a point of ice in Bobs pocket. So I’m telling Bob he’s under arrest for drugs and he looks me dead in the eye and says “Officer, I swear to god, these are not my pants.
I almost laughed in his face. “You can’t be serious. That’s the best you can come up with?” But again he said “I swear to god, these are not my pants and that’s not my drugs.
Apparently Jim and Bob had a big night drinking at Jims house and Bob had ‘misplaced’ his pants before passing out. When they woke up Bob grabbed the first pair or jeans he found and drove Jim into town for some Maccas totally unaware of the drug in his pocket.
A likely story if I ever heard one. So I open up our car and ask Jim.
“Are they your pants?” “Yeah they are, he couldnt find his own”
“Can you tell me about anything that was in those pants?” “Oh shit! Yeah the point that I didn’t smoke yesterday!”
Jim made full admissions to owning both the pants and the drugs while Bob was happily free to go.
10. Fire, fibreglass, pine trees and marshmallows
One night when it was raining we were out and we see this fire at this guy we know grows pot. This fire is huge like it looks like a house burning and it’s 9 at night. So we go check it out. We roll up without blues on and everyone just ducking scatters and we’re thinking “um ok what’s going on”.
Dude is burning a 30ft fiberglass boat in his yard. Surrounded. By. Pine trees. Pine trees! We’re at least 50ft away and the heat coming off this thing is crazy we can feel it with the windows open.
As we’re talking to this guy we found out the boat had a crack in the hull and he didn’t want to sell it on Craigslist. As we’re talking his son or some kid comes over with a stick with a marshmallow on it and starts toasting it. Fiberglass+ fire+ marshmallow doesn’t equal a good time. We noped right out of their before we had to deal with it but checked up the place every hour to see everything went up in a blaze of fiberglass and pine tree glory.
11. Oh, oops!
Was driving down the highway patrolling for violations. Notice a an old Ford truck in the right lane. Judging by its appearance, I figure there’s no way the registration is current. I slip in behind it and run the plate. Yup. It’s expired. I flip on my lights. Driver keeps right on truckin’. Huh. I follow him a bit more. Still no reaction. I creep up closer. Still no dice. The driver’s not speeding or driving crazy. He’s just…not stopping.
So now I’m wondering what this guy’s game is, thinking he’s looking for a place to bail and hoof it. Or maybe he’s drunk. Something’s definitely not kosher. The driver turns down a side street and I’m still on his tail. Finally, he pulls over. It’s been about two minutes. That doesn’t sound that long, but it’s an eternity. I walk up and the driver’s nervous as hell. Combine that with the weird failure to pull over and I’m thinking I’ve got something really juicy.
I do my spiel, tell him why he’s being stopped, ask for his papers. Then I ask why he didn’t pull over. He says he didn’t see my lights. I’m thinking he’s blind, stupid, or playing at something. Incredulously, I look back toward my cruiser to ask him how he didn’t notice…my overhead lights aren’t on. Huh. Awkward, but I don’t let it show. And that’s how I discovered that my patrol car has an intermittent fault with the lighting circuit; so sometimes when you flip the switch, the lights won’t come on.
The driver didn’t have a valid license, or insurance, and the truck hadn’t been registered in like, five years. So the driver definitely was stupid, he just wasn’t lying about the lights.
12. He wasnt lying about the items after all
It’s not “crazy” but It was very unbelievable until I found he was being honest.
I contact a guy walking on the wrong side of the road because he was carrying a back pack and when I looked at him he gave me the “oh crap” look.
I find out he’s on parole and currently awaiting trial for burglary. I search his bag and locate an ID, a computer and a wallet with the cash and cards still in the wallet. Obviously he stole all this and I read him his rights to ask him some questions.
He claims he was walking to the law enforcement center to turn in it. Yeah right, I thought to myself sure you were buddy. He tells me he was walking back from eating at a shelter when he found all these belongings next to the park and wanted to turn them in.
Anyway I take all his information and write it up because there are no reports from the person on the ID of theft or anything and I deter the property.
Well about 4 hours later I get a call from another officer, he asks me if I took a computer and other items. I tell him yes and he said that his victim, a female, had her boyfriend take her belongings and threw them out the window at the park. I started laughing and told him the story of my guy. This is probably one of the few times I have ran into a somewhat innocent person with a crazy story that was true.
Don’t fool yourself though he was walking away from where the police station was not towards it.
13. What else is there to take?
Get a complaint of a burglary from a guy we deal with from time to time who has schizophrenia. Guy says some one broke into his house and stole like $0.38 in change from his coffee table, two slices of cheese from his fridge, and two Tylenol gel caps.
The interior of the guy’s house looks like something off of a hoarders show, so I ignore the guy and let him fill out a statement form for an initial report that I plan to bury in a file because he’s obviously having problems with not taking his psych meds.
Two weeks later he calls panicking, get dispatched back out to his house. This time he’s missing around $0.72 from his coffee table a can of Vienna sausages, and three doses of his prescription heart medication.
Same thing, I let him rant and rave about being robbed and he asks repeatedly what he can do to stop this from happening. I give him a hasty answer like that he should invest in cameras for his house, take his statement and leave.
Another week passes get sent out a third time. Same random items missing; spare change, a fishing lure, and half of a bologna sandwich from his fridge. This time he’s smiling and keeps saying “We got the thief this time!”
He pulls back a blanket from beside his recliner and it’s a monitor. Attached to six or seven cameras around the inside of the house. Pulls up the video and sure enough a guy slides his kitchen window open and lets himself in.
He takes loose change from the coffee table, steals one fishing lure, and takes a bite out of the dudes sandwich in the fridge before opening the fridge back up and taking half of the sandwich.
14. Covering things up with a new pair of pants
I was a detective for a few years, assigned to violent crimes investigations. I got called in one night for a male victim that literally was dumped out of a vehicle at the entrance to the emergency room. He had been shot in the side right around the hip area with a shotgun, but was conscious and alert. While talking to him, he wouldn’t give any information whatsoever about his name or anything. While in the ER, the doctor informed me that when they cut his pants off he had a significant amount of drug in his pocket. He initially stuck to his story and once discharged about a week later he was arrested for possession of drugs.
This is where the story takes the turn, he immediately dropped the “those aren’t my pants” story which is more common than anyone could imagine, but still wouldn’t give any more information about what happened (he did finally give all his personal information). He was from out of state and couldn’t make bond, so after sitting in jail for about 4 months, he finally decided he wanted to talk about what happened.
Turns out on the night he was shot, he and some of his associates decided they were going to rob a known drug dealer. To achieve this, they dressed up as federal agents with BDU pants, full uniform style shirts and badges. When they got to the house, they announced they were police and as soon as he grabbed the glass door, the guy on the inside swing open the main door and fired a shotgun through the outer door, striking him.
Everyone ran back to the car, jumped in and on, the way, one of the other guys gave him clothes to put on so that he didn’t show up at the hospital with the uniform style outfit.
Every piece of his story was verified through the investigation to include the drug dealer had not replaced his glass door and it was still shattered.
15. Whos the one to blame now?
So last year I get dispatched to this house and the family there is not getting along. Its a bunch of drunk family members arguing. This girl is wasted, yelling at her boyfriend’s aunt and going on and on. We have history with her, like a lot of it. And she is on probation for some battery offenses and other stuff. Well she’s in her own home, and its not a crime to be mad and drunk in your own house. So we leave.
Get called back 30 minutes later. This time someone at the party threw a trash can full of beer cans over the fence hitting a neighboring house, and spilling cans into his swimming pool. He said it sounded like a woman. I described probation lady’s voice, and he’s like oh yeah I think it was her. I go next door, knock on the door. All is quiet inside. They won’t open the door. I bounce.
Get called back an hour later. The aunt calls in saying probation lady has beat her up and she needs medical attention. I head up there. First one on scene. Aunt is in the front yard bleeding from her nose. Yelling at everyone standing on the front porch, crying, and yelling that the girl on probation did it.
I put cuffs on the probation lady, and detain her in my car because she’s known to resist and is on probation already for a similar offense. While putting her in the car. She looks at me and goes, “Officer, she did that to herself. I swear.” I said okay I’ll talk to you in a minute let me get some more officers out here to help out. She didn’t resist at all, like she normally does. I’m thinking this is odd. Her family is all like, “Hey she didn’t do anything wrong. Why is she getting arrested. Blah blah blah.” I get this feeling things could go south quick. I yell back that I have to do an investigation and she’s only being detained and not arrested yet.
Officers show up, ambulance shows up, I start to interview the aunt in the back of the ambulance. She basically tells me the probation girl kicked her and her nephew, the probation lady’s boyfriend, dragged her out of the house by her hair and threw her on the ground.
At this point I’m thinking I have to arrest two people in all this. Well an officer walks up and tells me I need to talk to probation lady’s daughter. She’s 16 so she’s smart enough to know what’s up. She tells me the aunt did it to herself and she has video on her phone. She shows me the video and I watched as this lady punched herself in the face several times. Then slammed her face into a wall, which busted her nose. Then she runs outside and dives head first into the front yard like it’s a slip n slide.
I walked right over to my car and pulled opened the door. Probation lady is begging saying, “I didn’t do anything. I can’t go to jail. I’ll get a probation violation. Please don’t do this?” I looked her in the eye and I tell her, “Get out of the car, I need those cuffs.” She looks at me and smiles. I took the cuff off of her and walked right over and put them on the aunt.