Like a dog chasing its own tail, you can imagine the frustration of a U.K. police officer when he found out he had been chasing after himself for the 20 minutes after a colleague had mistakenly identified him as the suspect in an undercover operation.
The Telegraph reports that an Sussex police officer in plain clothes was casing a neighborhood prone to recent burglaries when another officer monitoring a video feed reported seeing someone “acting suspiciously” in the area. The embarrassing chase was leaked to Police Federation magazine.
The Telegraph has more on the account:
The anonymous officer, believed to be the PC’s sergeant, told the monthly magazine: “An officer who joined a team in Sussex as a new probationary officer was soon very keen to do any plain-clothes operations and be as proactive as possible.
“He would be waiting at the end of his shift hoping to be unleashed for a further couple of hours of plain-clothes duties.
“On one such occasion in a little market town in Sussex which has suffered a spate of town centre shop break-ins, officers were on plain-clothed foot patrol when a report was received of a suspect male in one of the side roads.”
“The CCTV operator soon had the suspect on camera and everywhere he saw the male the keen PC was on his heels – radioing in to say he was in the same street.”
He added: “Every time the man darted in to another side alleyway, the PC was turning immediately into the same alleyway, but every time the CCTV operator asked what he could see there was no trace.”
It was only when the sergeant saw the CCTV operator’s screen and recognized the undercover cop that they figured out why the suspect was so hard to catch.