Security is important. Without it, we wouldn't feel safe in our homes, a lot of things would probably get bombed, and malls everywhere would be overrun with teenagers flagrantly loitering outside the Jamba Juice. But there is such a thing as going too far in the name of safety. For example ...
21-year-old Sarah Ericsson's birthday party was quickly shut down by Swedish police. As well it should have been. Sort of like deaths at a Dothraki wedding, if the cops don't come to your 21st, it's widely considered a failure. But the cops weren't there about the rampant nudity and terrible music played far too loudly and without the appropriate amount of shame -- they thought they were busting a terrorist gathering.
See, police had received a call about "ISIS balloons" visible in the windows of the apartment, and, terrified at the possibility that ISIS had suddenly taken their propaganda techniques in a new and oddly whimsical direction, they leapt into action. When they busted up the party and found, at worst, some crimes against fashion, they left with whatever the Swedish version of "egg on your face" is -- probably something with 26 J's and an umlaut. Ultimately, it was determined that the passerby who called in the threat had mistaken the "21" on the balloon for "IS," because they were looking at the balloon backwards, and also because they were a paranoid idiot.
It must have been a slow day for crime in Bristol, CT back in 2015 when one local resident reported a package stolen right off his doorstep. Luckily, he had the foresight to set up a security camera for this incredibly specific occasion.
The vindicated resident sent their incriminating video to the police, as was proper protocol. The police then sent it to multiple local news outlets in the hopes of getting some hot tips and bringing their criminal to swift justice, as was way, way beyond proper protocol. Imagine getting a breaking news bulletin for petty mail theft. That's not worth interrupting The Expanse -- hell, it's barely worth interrupting a rerun of The Big Bang Theory.
But success! The package thief called the police station to turn himself in.
Aaaand it turned out he was a supervisor at the local USPS, and had realized the package in question was meant to be delivered a few houses down. He was dressed in plain clothes because he was technically off work for the day, and his USPS truck was right out of frame. Police charged him with one count of being one hell of a mailman.
In 2016, Houston eighth-grader Danesiah Neal attempted to pay for her school lunch using a $2 bill, because she's a rebel and scorns traditional currency denominations. Unfortunately, the school's counterfeit pen recognized the bill as a fake, and before even one felonious chicken tender could touch her forked tongue, Neal was sent to the on-grounds police office as a suspected counterfeiter. A middle school counterfeiter. As preposterous as that sounds, the officer took it very, very seriously. Neal was informed she could be facing a third-degree felony charge, which in Texas could mean anywhere from two to ten years in prison (and this being Texas, she's lucky it wasn't the death penalty, or like, that weird "giant mask backwards on a donkey" punishment from Beyond Thunderdome). The officer then took the bill to the local bank to recruit some help tracking down this cutting-edge middle school counterfeit ring.
There, the bank's currency experts (by which we mean people who can look at money and work Google) informed the officer that the bill wasn't counterfeit at all. It was simply made in 1953 -- you know, like countless other bills still circulating today -- and thus too old for the counterfeiting pen. Don't worry, there's a happy ending here. The officer not only had to drop the charges against Neal, he also had to return the bill. Hey, don't scoff. Ask the kid from Better Off Dead -- two dollars is two dollars.
Back in 2016, an employee at a gambling hall in Halberstadt, Germany heard strange mechanical noises emanating from the bathroom, and quickly alerted the police of a possible robot orgy. Worried that the odd sound could in fact be a bomb, they responded by evacuating 90 people from the building and its surrounding businesses and shops. The street was closed and a bomb disposal unit sent in.
All geared up, hearts in their throats, ready to die at any second, the bomb squad carefully, caaaarefully discovered ... a vibrating c**k ring.
Police determined the device unlikely to kill much more than "the mood," and one extremely embarrassed town went about its business, ever-vigilant should disaster strike again and a butt plug turns up in a bowling alley or something.
For more ways we're a little too safe, check out 5 Catastrophes Caused By Idiots Trying To Prevent Them and The 3 Most Insane Overreactions By School Security.
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