When a 21-year-old man called his local Domino’s and placed an order for two pizzas, a total of around $30, to be delivered to an unsuspecting woman as a prank, he didn’t expect to have the cops show up at his door a few nights later.
But that’s exactly what happened to Richard Arthur James Crawford, of Timaru, New Zealand. Crawford confessed to the officer and was convicted of fictitiously using a telephone in November 2017, The Timaru Herald reported.
Here’s how it went down: when the pizza delivery person arrived with the two Domino’s pies, the woman who answered the door insisted she did not order the pizza. According to BuzzFeed News, many fake orders had been made to her home in the past, including an order for a taxi with instructions to take her to the hospital. (There is no evidence linking Crawford to these other instances).
The woman got the phone number from which the delivery was made and went to the police, where one of the police sergeants, Greg Sutherland, apparently decided to get creative with the investigation.
According to the case’s judgment, Sutherland texted Crawford’s number, “Thanks for your continued support. You are the winner of two Movie Max 5 session passes to be used by 12/6/17. Text your name and address for the passes to be posted to you.”
Crawford, duped, immediately responded with his information. Officers showed up on his doorstep a few days later, and Crawford confessed.
However, Crawford’s conviction was overturned because the police officer committed the same offense that Crawford was convicted of. Justice Nicholas Davidson ruled in the judgment that the evidence was “improperly obtained” and that Crawford’s confession was “so closely linked to the sergeant’s unlawful behavior.”
Who knew that committing the same offense of the person you’re trying to catch isn’t the best way to approach police work?