Police officers often have to deal with a lot of intense situations and unpredictable, potentially violent people. Their line of work is known to be demanding and full of stress, as criminals are often actively working to game the system and not get caught. However, criminals are also not the brightest folks out there, so sometimes they do things so idiotic that the cops pursuing them can't help but shake their heads and laugh.
Whether it's a woman freaking out in court and getting herself arrested again, or a guy blatantly shooting up in a family changing area, it's a wonder these people are able to function in society at all. Here are some of Reddit police officers' craziest, most ridiculous tales about the most dim-witted delinquents they've ever confronted. Content edited for clarity.
"My friend is a police officer and he told me a story about how he once went to arrest a dealer. He was in full uniform, but another officer was present who was undercover. The dealer looked at the undercover officer and said, 'You're undercover'!' Yes, good job, buddy. Then he turned to my uniformed friend and said, 'You're undercover, too!' Uhh, he clearly wasn't.
Lastly, he turned to someone else in the room who was not a cop and said, 'And you!'
This genius replied with, 'How am I an undercover police officer? I just bought all that stuff off of you!' And that's the story of how they got to make an unexpected bonus arrest at that raid."
"I was waiting to report an incident at a local police station when a clearly distraught man came in wheezing and sweating. I wasn't in a rush, so I let him go ahead of me. 'I've been robbed, they took everything!' he exclaimed when he reached the counter.
The officer working the desk asked him the usual what, where, why, and how sort of questions. The gentleman proceeded to explain that he was a local 'substance dealer' and he'd just been robbed of his entire stash while selling to some teens at the local train station.
The officer informed him that there wasn't anything they couldn't do about it, so it was in his best interest to just leave before more questions were raised and he incriminated himself further. He was fuming and stormed out of the place, slamming the door behind him. I reached the counter and made an offhand comment to the officer, 'That must be a first for you!' Apparently it wasn't; he said that dealers often come in to report theft of their illicit substances. Unbelievable!"
"Back when I was a cop, my partner and I once found a car parked at a cemetery in the middle of the night. Stolen cars were dumped there regularly, but this car had its windows down and was warm to the touch, meaning it was recently abandoned.
It didn't flag up as stolen, but through the window I could see a crank pipe in plain view, giving us a reason to search the car. Inside we found a bunch of other pipes, three and a half grams of crank, a small amount of weed, and a Glock. There was also a tablet that was unlocked and while we were searching the car, it kept receiving messages from people trying to score crank.
I had a quick look through the other stuff on the device and was able to figure out that the owner of the car had come out from the city (I worked rurally at the time) to make a score from one of the local gangs. But the gang didn't want her turning up, so they arranged to meet her at the cemetery and conduct business somewhere else.
I left a business card for our station under the wipers and on the back, I wrote that she, the owner of the car, should come down to the station if she wanted to get her stuff back.
Aaaaaand sure enough, she did, at 9 the next morning, totally tweaking, looking for all her illegal contraband."
"I once pulled a guy over on suspicion of driving under the influence and had the following conversation:
Him: 'Yes, I did drink Jack Daniels last night, and yes, I have been driving just now, but there's no way I'm wasted!'
Me: 'But sir, the breath test shows you're five times over the legal lim-'
Him: 'No, I'm not!'
Two weeks later:
Me: 'So the blood test came back, you did, in fact, have five times above th-'
Me: 'We have five vials of blood tha-'
Him: 'They are wrong!'
Yeah, his strategy didn't exactly help him in court, so he's now a pedestrian."
"I'm a retired cop and I saw some stuff in my day, but the story of a thief stealing a young girl's car is pretty wild. It was her first car that she bought with money from working full time and we felt so bad because she was crushed. Also in the car, for some reason, was her cell phone, so my colleague who has a real silver tongue called the number. The guy answered, and it went like this:
Cop: 'You punk, you stole my girlfriend's car!'
Thief: 'Cry baby, I will mess you up then take your girl!'
Cop: 'Bring it you goon! No cops, no friends, just me and you! I'm at the Chevron on Main street and 5th! I'm calling you out, soft boy!'
Thief: 'Pshh, I'm on my way.' Click.
Me: 'NO FREAKING WAY! HE'S COMING!'
The dude rounded the corner and pulled into the gas station. We hid our cars behind it and then when he parked, we boxed him in. He had a weapon, too...on probation. Had a loaded weapon. Came to us, in the stolen car, with the same shaved key in the ignition that he used to steal it.
Later I talked to the cop who tricked the guy on the phone, and he said that a few months later in court, the guy claimed the weapon was not his. Since we found it under the driver's seat, he said it must have been hers! So messed up. Luckily the jury didn't buy it.
I'll never forget the look on his face when we caught him that day. It went from, 'I'm gonna kill this dude,' to the look a prey animal gets when it knows it's done for. Sadly, he was killed a few years later in a chase in another stolen car."
"I was once the victim of burglary and the police officer on my case gave me the scoop on the arrest. I saw the guy breaking into my place on a security camera so I called the police and they managed to arrest the guy while he was still inside packing up my stuff.
Apparently, he was very arrogant to the police as he thought that since he hadn't actually left with his bag of swag (my stuff), he hadn't committed a crime yet so all he did was break a window. Not how that works, at all, and he went to jail."
"So this woman was waiting on her trial in the courtroom for driving under the influence while the lawyers and judge were milling around and getting their paperwork in order. The trial was going to start in 10-15 minutes and the prosecuting attorney asked her one last time if she wanted to take the plea deal. She refused and started on a rant about how the whole trial was unconstitutional and the police and courts were corrupt, blah blah blah.
She began to cause a bit of scene, yelling, acting like a child, and just being generally annoying. Then someone in the room got a whiff of her breath and it smelled a bit boozy. She was out on bond, meaning she can basically be given a preliminary breath test at any time for any reason, so the judge ordered one on her. She registered a 0.226 in court.
This woman, who was on trial for driving under the influence, had the audacity to DRIVE to court wasted and then moan and groan about how she wasn't being treated fairly and that we're all corrupt and unconstitutional. Not only that, but it explicitly stated in her bond conditions that she could not consume any hard drinks. I cuffed her and brought her to the jail, and she was still running her mouth the whole time. I had nothing to say because I had absolutely zero sympathy for her. I could barely hold in my laughter during that walk."
"Many years ago, I worked for the court service so I would get to talk to the cops about the latest ridiculous stuff they had to deal with. My favorite story of their's was about a couple of students who had their house broken into and everything stolen. The cop said that when he went to take statements, these two guys were sitting cross-legged on the floor because the place had been completely emptied.
A few days later, he got another call to the same block but it was the place next door. He talked to the guy at the door who was filing a noise complaint against the two students who had been burgled. The cop knocked on the students' door and they were still without possessions, however, someone lent them a stereo so they were getting wasted while blasting music to drown their sorrows.
They apologized, turned the music down, and closed the door. The cop went back to the complainer to tell him the students would be quiet, but as he was talking, he could see into the house and noticed lots of pieces of electronics, furniture, and other big items. He looked through his notebook and began ticking all these items off the list of stolen stuff from next door, and ultimately arrested that guy as the thief! The students got all their stuff back and were very happy. Criminal lesson: if you're going to burgle your next door neighbor, don't invite the cops around to complain about them!"
"I once arrested a guy for shooting up smack in the parents' room of a shopping center. I literally walked in while he had the needle in his arm. We stared at each other for a bit, then he comes out with, 'I'm, uh, diabetic?'
I cuff himed and left my partner to do the search while I read him his rights. The guy was most definitely not diabetic and we knew this because he's had 87 prior convictions for use/possession/trafficking.
I went through the usual you-do-not-have-to-say-or-do-anything spiel and asked, 'Do you understand these rights?'
He was totally cooked at that point so he just looked at me and said, 'You want to get dinner tonight?'
It's not the worst response I've had to caution and rights, though. In Australia, if someone doesn't understand their rights, we try to explain it again in a different way, and if we're still unsure if they understand their rights, we get an independent third person to come to the station to explain it to them. If they say they still don't understand their rights, we can't proceed with any interviewing or questioning. However, someone people don't realize this and totally incriminate themselves right after their arrest."
"My dad's a detective and he once had a murder case where a dog walker found a severed head in a park. Over the rest of the morning, the police found a full set of chopped up body parts around that park.
A trail of blood led from each part to the next, and they followed them all the way back to a nearby house, in through the door, and up the stairs to a room covered in blood with a guy asleep in a bed.
It turned out the guy had gotten wasted with a friend, had an argument, killed him, chopped him up, and hid his body parts in the park before passing out back at the house. The police literally caught him red handed. Apparently, he was really confused as to how they got him so quickly."
"This happened while I was in the middle of a search warrant looking for a bloke with lots of prior convictions. I found a still burning blunt in the ashtray in the living room, but there was no sign of the guy in the house. I was 99% sure he was in the roof cavity, so I announced to my partner, 'I think he's up there, should we look?'
Suddenly the ceiling began talking. I heard the softest, 'No...hehehe...crap...can they hear me? Nah...it's all good.'
Then my partner said, 'Nah, man, I didn't hear that guy say we shouldn't look up there.'
The ceiling replied with, 'Sweet, I knew they wouldn't find me!'
Needless to say, we looked and pulled a very stoned guy out from under the insulation batts. Side note, insulation makes you extremely itchy so be careful choosing your hiding spots when you're stoned."
"A city near me has had some pretty stupid criminals over the years. Once a guy murdered a woman, put her body in a large garment bag, and left it in a vacant lot. Unfortunately for him, he forgot to take the tags with his name and address off the bag from a recent flight.
Another time a would-be bank robber wrote his stickup note and put it into his wallet. Then he got rattled at the bank and accidentally left his driver's license on the counter when he handed the note to a teller.
A third crook just took on more than he could handle and apparently didn't watch his back. He had a long history of grand theft auto and was hospitalized after being badly beaten in the parking lot of a sports arena after a lacrosse game. The guy swore up and down that he had no idea why anyone would assault him there."
"My father was a 911 dispatch operator and one night when he was working, he got a call from a guy who was blatantly wasted.
Dad: '911, what is your emergency?'
Guy: 'Yeah uhh...I think I just heard a...red car crash.'
Dad: 'Uh, you heard a RED car crash?'
Dad: 'Okay, uh, police are on their way.'
My dad later found out that this dude was driving inebriated and crashed his car not far from his house. Then he decided to get out of his car, stumble home, and dial 911 to report the fact that he heard a car crash.
In his messed up mind, he figured he'd report the crash as someone who heard it and he'd get off, somehow. But he had to specify the color, because, apparently, a red car crashing sounds different than a blue car crashing..."
"This happened when I was doing a ride along as part of a police training program. A woman called 911 to say that there were people she didn't know squatting in her garage apartment and that they had a knife. We got there and the 'squatters' had tons of regular-people belongings that did not match the profile of squatters. Additionally, all of their belongings were strewn along the ground outside in the alleyway.
They had texts proving that they had been renting from her and they said that they were two days late on rent, so she went crazy and threw all of their stuff outside. The knife they supposedly had was one of their steak knives that had come out of a shelf that she dumped in the alley. She had also allegedly shoved one of them.
By the time we had sorted this all out, the woman had vanished. The officer told them to go ahead and put their stuff back inside and that she'd have to evict them properly and legally if it was justified. At that point, they didn't want to press any charges, so we just left to drive around and told them to call back if they had more problems.
They called back within ten minutes. The woman had come back and shoved one of them, throwing another temper tantrum. We issued her a ticket for assault by contact and she was not pleased at all, so she proceeded to throw the ticket on the ground. We told her, 'Pick that up or you will be arrested for littering.' Now, the tenants were still standing right there and they had one of those portable dog kennels on the ground next to them with a Chihuahua in it.
When she went to pick up the ticket, she kicked the dog kennel hard enough to make it do a barrel roll. She was then immediately and aggressively taken into custody and charged with animal cruelty. The best part was that the whole ride to jail, she was continuing her tantrum, asking how she was going to jail when she called the police and she 'didn't do anything wrong.' Despite the number of times that she said that she didn't do anything wrong or that she shouldn't go to jail, that's exactly where she ended up."
"One night, another officer and I had been tracking a stolen cell phone and narrowed it down to one a complex in one of the rougher parts of town. As we were waiting outside for the phone to move again, these kids pulled up near us in a black Kia and immediately stopped when they saw our patrol car. They tried to throw the car in reverse and all bailed.
As the four of them jumped out, the front passenger was knocked onto the ground as the car began rolling backward due to being on an incline. He nearly got run over as we drove up and ran after them on foot, but lost them as they ran into the complex.
We ended up pinpointing the driver to one apartment in particular because we were still tracking the phone. He had gotten ahead of us, ran into his grandmother's apartment, ditched his clothes, and tried to jump in the shower. After we knocked on the door, his grandmother answered and said that he just got home a bit ago and that there wasn't a stolen phone in the house.
She even brought us his dirty clothes to prove it, even though he was trying to pull the whole 'those aren't my pants' bullcrap. Then we called the phone, causing it to go off in her place, and she was shocked. We walked into the kitchen and found the phone in a cereal box on top of the fridge.
So the guy got locked up and as we were putting him into the patrol car, we found out that the Kia rolled down the incline and into two parked cars. Then his aunt turned up and was freaking out because she realized he took her car without her knowing. He got charged with all of it and I'm pretty sure his aunt was gonna try to make him pay for all the damages. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes!"
"My brother used to be a cop and he told me that one time he took lunch at Popeyes while in uniform. Once inside, the cashier started taking his order then stopped halfway through and turned to a coworker that had just walked up to ask if he took his weed.
The other guy said yes but he didn't smoke it all and proceeded to hand him the rest of the weed. The cashier then said it was all good anyway since he had another stash in his car for emergencies like that.
Then my brother interjected, 'Hey guys, I'm just trying to get some lunch here and that's blatantly illegal.' At that point, the workers finally realized he was a cop.
The cashier said, 'Oh no, not again!' As my brother began arresting him, he said that he thought my brother was the security guard.
Trying to make a joke out of it, my brother said, 'Oh, you smoke pot with your security guard?'
The guys replied, 'No, just my manager and his buddy.' The real kicker was that when he asked another employee if the security guard was around, the employee said they didn't have one and had no idea what the cashier was talking about."