March 17, 2009

Arrest foiled — suspect already detained

A planned public arrest carried out by London's Metropolitan Police commissioner was foiled when it was discovered the suspect was already in custody.

Commissioner Paul Stephenson said he led an early morning raid on the suspected location of a man believed to be the handler of a major burglary ring, but officers busted down the door only to find no sign of their target, The Times of London reported Tuesday. A small number of reporters and photographers had been on hand to witness the arrest.

Stephenson said he later discovered that the suspect had been arrested earlier in the morning after reports of a house break-in.

That's policing, Stephenson said. This was the culmination of a long-running operation which has seen a number of people arrested. This was all about catching villains and making people feel safer in their homes. The operation was very professional. The suspect was not there but that's the nature of police work.

However, he said the raid was not a total waste -- two women were detained and police seized $21,000 cash and an Aston Martin DB7 that had been parked in the house's driveway.