A Glendale, Arizona man received hundreds of worrisome group text messages from unknown numbers that appeared to be intended for undercover police officers. As reported by KSAZ Fox 10, the man, who wanted to remain anonymous because of safety concerns, was the recipient of a long chain of messages that detailed an apparent sting operation. "It just gets a little more in depth so it gets a lot scarier," the man told KSAZ. "After a while, I'm reading the texts and then it seems these people are going to steal a car because they had a site plan, they had a place to meet, a place to go, how fast to go, who was covering each exit. I didn't want to reply to that."
The messages included photos of a car, a “C.i.” (confidential informant), along with information about a possible vehicle theft. After reading that, the erroneous recipient had an impression that the mass texts were describing a police sting. He decided to contact the Glendale Police Department to inform them about the texts. "The lady on the phone said, ‘Well let me call somebody and make sure this is actually what it is, a police investigation.’ She called back 20 minutes later and said, ‘Yes it is. Sorry.’"
KSAZ’s Nicole Garcia made a call to one of the phone numbers on the group texts. It was a detective with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office who told Garcia that the numbers on the mass text were all officers and deputies taking part in a surveillance training class. Their cell phones were used to communicate during a mock surveillance mission. So, they exchanged numbers, but someone in the group must have entered a number incorrectly. The detective also told KSAZ that on an actual surveillance operation, text messages would not be the normal mode of communication.
Video and more info: KSAZ