Police In Unmarked Vehicles Share The Dumbest Things People Ever Did Around Them
There you were, driving along, minding your own business, when all of a sudden you see the red and blue lights glistening behind you, despite no police cruisers in sight. Needless to say, it sucks. And it's scary, if for no other reason than tickets are so freaking expensive, and, heaven forbid points are assessed for a roadway infraction, which causes insurance rates to skyrocket. Sometimes, however, people are just completely oblivious or simply downright sloppy.
In any case, here are some favorite screw-ups from both cops and unsuspecting motorists who got busted by an unmarked police car. Those of us who have experienced this first-hand lead a life of driver paranoia and disappointment. My deepest sympathies, we've all been there.
This could have gone differently. Lucky break, dude.
I once honked at a car who changed lanes a bit too closely in front of me. Was an unmarked cop car. When that silver Chevy slammed the brakes, darted behind me, and turned into a f_ckin' EDM show, I almost sh*t myself.
The officer pulled me over and apologized for cutting it close.
"We don't catch the smart ones." Yeah, obviously.
We had a guy pull into a lot next to a marked squad car and light up. My buddy sitting in the car had to look around to make sure he was---in fact---in a squad car and that he was ---in fact---in uniform. He was.
The old adage of "we don't catch the smart ones" never rang more true.
Once again, they never catch the smart ones.
Not a cop but one of my friends was doing an undercover stakeout at night in an unmarked car in a bad part of town. This wasn't just an unmarked Crown Vic, but a seized vehicle with heavy illegal tint. While he's there looking for a person of interest in a homicide this guy walks by a few times checking out the car and just looking fishy. He comes back, stops by the car, tries the door, then pulls out a lockout tool and tries to unlock the car. The whole time my buddy is trying to keep his sh_t together as this guy is trying to jack a car with a cop in it. He draws his pistol, cracks the window and flashes his gun. The guy drops his tool and just starts f_cking running down the street. He radioed in a description of the guy (didn't want to blow the stakeout with an arrest) and a uniformed unit picked him up two blocks away.
Guy ended up being involved in an auto theft ring and brought them all down in exchange for a deal. He had one of the biggest busts of his career just walk up and try to break into his car.
So... does the brother know from experience?
My little brother is really good at spotting cops (marked and unmarked). One day we were on our way to a wedding when my brother tells my mom to make sure she's going the speed limit cause she was about to pass an unmarked cop car. She is doubtful but does it anyways. About 30 seconds later a guy on a black Ducati comes flying up behind us weaving through traffic. He squeezes between our SUV and the cop and we all cheered when the cop flipped on his lights. My mom never questions my brother anymore.
New car, who dis?
I unknowingly sped past my father as he drove his brand new unmarked car home. Woops.
I've tried the crying tactic. It didn't work out so well for me.
Some guy tried suddenly coming out of a turn lane into our lane. When we didn't automatically brake to let him in he started screaming and cursing us out, even sticking his middle finger out the window, not realizing we were cops. We lowered our window flashed the badge and hit the lights and then pulled him over. The guy started crying and apologized numerous times.
I've lived in Indiana. Can confirm, everyone thinks they're in the 500.
I was driving from Indianapolis to Bloomington one day to visit a friend on the IU campus. I was going around 70 or so, running late, and I passed a cop in an unmarked Mustang on the side of the road. He pulled out and I got ready to pull over. He got behind me and just as he lit me up a lady in a red convertible comes flying past both of us. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a completely stunned look on his face as if he was asking himself "Did this car really just blow by both of us?"
It took him a couple of seconds to recover, but then he pulled up beside me, pointed at me while laughing, and took off after the woman. I passed them as she was getting stopped and tooted the horn twice in thanks to her :)
Major fail, go to jail.
Not a cop. In college, my buddies and I lived in an... especially affordable neighborhood. We all went to the bar one night but soon received a call that there was a break-in. Got home and the cop told us he and his partner were driving by our house in an unmarked car when they saw an individual struggling to carry digital cameras, a t-shirt full of spare change, and an XBox plus controllers and games out of our house. The cops stop to observe what appears to be a robbery in progress, but then the individual actually approached the unmarked car and attempted to sell the stolen XBox to the cops on the sidewalk in front of our house that he had just robbed. They said it was the easiest arrest they ever made.
Never take the bait.
I had a client that tried to race a blacked out Charger when they first came out in his WRX. He was winning too, at least until the trooper turned on the lights in his grill. Had managed to get to 108 mph from the line.
Talk about scaring the piss out of someone...
Second police job was as a deputy sheriff and I'm sitting there with my partner off a highway exit at a scenic overlook eating some lunch and listening on the radio to CHP trying to corner two motorcyclists who are flying around the highway like idiots. No air support is available so they terminate pursuit for safety. About 10 minutes later as I'm polishing off my fourth taco two bikes matching the description, and without any visible plates exit the highway and pull into the same overlook. They take their helmets off, listen for a few minutes, kill the bikes, and then the one walks over to start peeing behind a tree. We made CHP transport them since that guy went all over himself when we hit the siren.
We were in an unmarked Subaru at the time.
This is just sloppy. Also, don't do meth, and stay in school.
I drive an unmarked car. My favorite one was on a two-lane road going 55. A big lifted truck passes me on a double yellow and the driver flips me the bird as he passed. I wonder what he was thinking when I lighted him up. He denied flipping me off when I pulled him over. I just gave him his ticket and he was on his way.
Most of the funny moments are working plainclothes, I still walk around thinking, "sh*t, I'm the police and if you people only knew". You see a lot more in plain clothes than in uniform. There are too many stories to tell so I'll just say the one that happened yesterday.
A couple of dealers ask me a number of times what I needed. I was doing something else so I wasn't going to bust them. They follow me down the street and keep asking me what I need. I end up telling one guy that I need some meth and he tells me the price. He palms me the smack and I paid him with my badge. I think he regretted chasing me down the street asking me what I needed.
Edit: autocorrect changed some words. Edit: I didn't give the guy my badge. I just showed it to him. I'm also not a narcotics officer and was out looking for someone. The area I was in is one of the most drug-infested neighborhoods on the west coast and there are drug dealers everywhere. The area is surrounded by high-income areas and they probably thought I was a tech bro looking to score. I arrested him and took him to jail.
To protect and... swerve?
I'm on the other side of this one
I was cycling down a main road and had a green light to cross, and I was nearly run over by a massive black car that ran the light and turned into me. We both swerved to a stop... I immediately turned around and started screaming at the guy "you f_cking etc, you nearly killed me look where you're f_cking going next time"
The car was unmarked police. The passenger-side window rolled down and there was a guy in a baseball cap and a bulletproof vest sitting there holding a rifle. I kept shouting abuse at him until I realized. He just apologized for nearly running me over and kept on driving
Moral of the story: don't harass German cops. You'll have a bad time.
Am a cop (in training) but wasn't in an unmarked car. Person was playing on their phone in the middle of traffic and didn't realize what kind of car was beside him. He looks up to me, sees me, and just gives me the finger, apparently for looking at him. Only then does he notice my uniform (or perhaps the big white POLIZEI on the side of the car). My instructor didn't believe it until I assured him I wasn't making it up. That guy ended up admitting it to my instructor. Probably the most expensive finger he ever gave someone. (And the most expensive round of whatever they were playing on the phone.)
I've had this happen to me, except I received a warning. For what, I still have no idea.
I am not an officer, however, this is too perfect not to tell. Mind you I was not speeding, I accelerated quickly and got in front of the SUV beside me who proceeded to tailgate me. He was driving aggressively and I thought road raging, so I got over again and sped around a car in front of me and got over again. I made my turn and the guy was on my tail again. Suddenly he lights me over and my stomach drops. I pull over and a plainclothes officer gets out and approaches. He says "sir, why were you driving like that? I am not a traffic officer but your erratic driving gave me no choice but to pull you." I shrugged my shoulders and responded, "you were tailgating me and looked angry I thought you were raging and tried to get some distance from you". He responded "that's fair " and walked back to his car and drove off.
The "green dragon" isn't a carnival ride.
Retired sheriff's deputy here. Was not working but in plain clothes with my young children at in tow. We were at a local Street Carnival in my jurisdiction. When I watched two Carneys do a hand-to-hand transaction of some type of narcotic. I contacted the officers on duty at the carnival, and the deputy prosecutor happened to be there as well. She asked me if I would be willing to do a purchase from one of the carnival workers. I had never worked undercover and didn't really know anything about narcotics or the street lingo -- had arrest affected almost immediately.
There's nothing delightful about a spoonful of DUI charges.
I actually work probation. We drive grey slick top chargers with blue lights.
We monitor people that are on GPS monitoring for the state. Occasionally these monitors go dead, they need servicing. Sometimes an offender says f--- it, cuts the unit off and goes trolling for a station wagon full of nuns or something.
Well anyway, I'm in this grey Charger with blue lights because it's my week to do the GPS monitoring thing. In my state probation officers have the same arrest powers as state troopers, DNR officers or normal police only we have statewide jurisdiction.
So I come across a disabled vehicle with a big ford behind it. There's lots of traffic and this Ford is trying to get around the disabled car. So I'm like man this dude is never getting around this car.
So I turn on my blue lights, stop traffic so he can get around safely. So I'm sitting there waving the guy through when this Indian fellow comes up on my passenger side window and he says, "OFFICER, THAT GUY IN THE TRUCK JUST HIT THAT CAR, HE WAS GOING SERIOUSLY FAST WEAVING ALL OVER THE PLACE, THEN HE HIT THAT CAR RIGHT THERE I THINK HES DRUNK!"
The upshot for the little 4-year-old was that one of the responding officers that showed up had a thick Liverpool accent. The little girl legit thought that she was speaking to the cop Mary Poppins. Super cute.
Clearly, he didn't fear his parents enough to begin with. I'm 31 and my mother still owns me.
We had a new hire who went twice the limit (160 in an 80 km/h zone) and then proceeded to cut off a policewoman in an unmarked car. As he was in a company vehicle with a clearly visible logo (security company) she called us and spoke to my boss. We called in the guy to the office and I fired him.
He could not believe that he was fired just for going twice the speed limit. He kept saying "but this is the first time I've done it!".About a month later he called my boss and asked him for bail money for a DUI, my boss just laughed and hung up on him (he was worried his parents would get angry).\
This is New York af.
Also not a cop but I saw a one during a blizzard in NYC.
It was a bad one. I lived near the Port Authority building and the streets were almost empty. For those of you who aren't from NYC, that area can have traffic jams any time of the day.
There was one cab on the street and it slid out and hit a parked car so hard it popped it up onto the sidewalk. The cabbie backed out and started to drive off.
The only other car on the road was a black SUV that suddenly pulled in front of the cab. The guy gets out and flashes his badge. The only other pedestrians suddenly yell out, "Go five oh!"
It was the only time I've ever heard people actually cheering for the police.
When you're so burned out you forget who you are.
I was on duty one day driving, not in an unmarked car but a clearly marked car. It was an hour before I was to go home so I had already mentally checked out pretty much. Anyways, I am driving down a road and this car zooms past this stop sign in front of me, causing me to slam on my breaks and slam on the horn literally close to hitting him. It's funny because I exclaimed out loud to myself in the car "MOTHER FCKER!\_I wish there was a squad car near you assh_le!" Then I proceeded to remember I WAS that squad car and turned around fifteen seconds later and pulled him over. Yea, had a little justice boner that day.
"Grand Theft Auto- Skinny Jeans edition"
Not a cop, but I want to tell the story about what happened to my son when he was about 16.
He and some friends had been hanging out at DQ. They were leaving DQ in his friend's car to go to one of their houses. They had encountered some other teenagers who were taunting them and generally being assh_les. My son was in the back seat of the car and two of his friends were up front. A dark-colored sedan pulled up next to them at a stoplight. Kid driving says to front seat passenger "It's those assh_les again! Do something!" Front seat passenger grabs a shoe and chucks it at the car's windshield.
Well, guess who was actually driving that car? LOL. I got a friendly call from the PD to come pick up my kid, along with an assurance that he hadn't done anything wrong but had really, really stupid friends.
The cop made some kind of quip as I was picking him up about "Grand Theft Auto- Skinny Jeans edition".
Why would you give Reba a ticket for listening to Reba?!
I'm a cop in Ohio, and I was driving a 2011 Hyundai Elantra. The police paid for it so it was really nice inside, leather, extra speakers, etc. One day when I was out on patrol listening to some cop rap, a guy drove past me with speakers so loud that I could hear the song (Reba McEntire) over the cop rap, so I blooped him with the siren and pulled him over. I walk up to the car and ask him what he's doing, and the tinted window rolled down, and it was Reba McEntire. I was completely stunned, and I said "I'm sorry, but a ticket's a ticket." She grinned sheepishly and said "That's fine. You're just doing your job." It was one of the highlights of my career before I retired.
Don't horse around on at 50 mph.
Obligatory I am not the officer BUT:
I was driving on a 50mph limit dual carriageway, and a nice fellow with a horsebox attached to his pickup decided that 0.2 inches behind my car on the inside lane was a nice amount of stopping distance for himself. Then he decided I wasn't having enough fun with just music, so proceeded to flash his lights. Repeatedly. Rave time!
Then decides to cut across back onto the motorway in front of me, across the chevrons, forcing me to swerve into the outside lane lest my car be written off by his clearly occupied horsebox.
Then it happens. The angelic humming of a siren - the majestic flashing blue lights of karma. Unmarked police car flies over from a little while behind me. I pass them about 5 minutes later and tooted my woefully inadequate horn. Because I could.
Impersonating a cop will land you on the wrong side of the law.
I was a detective off duty with my family when a jacka** started following me way too close. I sped up and he did too. He pulled up next to me and he's driving a Crown Vic with a full police lights package and the words "test vehicle" on the door. He's clearly upset, turns on the lights and motions for me to slow down. He picked up a radio mic and looked like he was talking into it. I was inside of my own jurisdiction by now and called dispatch to see if they knew who this dude was. Nobody knows. Meanwhile, test vehicle turns off the road behind me to a shopping center. My wife sighs heavily as I turn around and spot him getting out of the car, wearing a sweet pair of cargo shorts. I calmly took down the tag and arrived early for work the next day cause my normal caseload was going to take a break for Mr. Test Vehicle. Found out he was not a police officer but a salesman for police vehicle lights. Stroked out a warrant for impersonating a police officer and locked him up the same day. When I went over to the jail to talk to him he told me that he gets angry when people speed around him when he's driving that car. He wasn't the pervert cop impersonator type so he got a slap on the wrist but his employer was pissed when I told them.
Cheers to JohnnyNoToes for asking, "Officers of the law who drive unmarked cars, what is your best "are you f*cking kidding me" moment that you witnessed because they didn't realize you were watching?"
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.