They fell for it hook, line and sinker.
A trio of California cops were left red-faced this week when they busted a man for trespassing on a closed beach… or what they thought was a man.
A series of photos posted by Facebook user Phil Harris on Friday documented the ill-fated sting from start to finish, in a set of five magnificent stills.
The first showed a lone angler, defying the state’s lockdown orders by brazenly fishing from the Pacific Ocean, either blissfully unaware or obnoxiously ignorant of the fact the entire stretch of sand was sans another soul.
The second showed the three brave officers spotting the law-breaker, his rod stuck in the sand, his chair waiting to receive him, his cares not in this world.
The third showed the trio forming ranks and bearing down on the unsuspecting rogue, his back still turned as they closed in with intent; still they do not suspect something fishy is going on.
The fourth shows the penny dropping from a distance, as the lawmen discover they’ve taken the bait, sheepishly scanning the area to see if their folly had been documented by an unseen eye.
The fifth introduced Facebook followers to the dummy with a close-up shot of his face, or rather, the balled and taped up blanket that substituted for his face; the camouflage jacket and straw hat completing the illusion.
Whoever did this. Your my hero… #OPENCALI” the poster wrote.
Reactions on social media were mainly gifs of people laughing at the cunning trap, although some questioned why it took three officers to bring the fake fisherman to justice.
Others pointed out that none of the three officers wore masks or gloves, and certainly weren’t keeping six feet apart from each other, or their mannequin adversary for that matter.
Then there were those who highlighted the fact that the stoic seaman should have been left alone, as he was socially distancing before the officers interrupted him.
As for the fisherman himself — he exercised his right to remain silent.