One of the most pernicious effects of alcohol is its capacity to make terrible ideas seem brilliant, as one man discovered this weekend when he was arrested for a very ill-advised “fake cop” scam.
According to The Local a 23-year-old Austrian man came up with a brilliant plan to make money this weekend: impersonate a police officer and scam drivers for “fines.” Saturday, he improvised a fake blue flashlight, like the ones Austrian police use, and used it to stop cars on the highway. He targeted foreign cars and told the drivers he would need to collect a traffic fine for a series of imaginary vehicular infractions. It sort of worked, too, even though some of the man’s victims later said they noticed that he was using a regular flashlight in a blue plastic cover, and that he seemed to be pretty drunk at the time.
The idea, which at the time must have seemed just crazy enough to work, only netted the scammer about $147. That’s still a pretty good haul for a drunk 23-year-old pulling people over with a fake flashlight and demanding traffic fines.
It did not take long for the real police to show up and arrest him. The arresting officer noted that the perpetrator had “significant blood alcohol level.” The man was arrested for driving under the influence, and presumably a few more charges on top of that.