This Isn’t Satire

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

This story is a year old, but I somehow missed it when it first happened.

An elderly couple in New York have had their home wrongly raided by police over 50 times. For reasons I can’t quite comprehend, someone decided to enter the couple’s address as the default address on search warrants while conducting a test on police department computers. Then, apparently, at least 50 times, some NYPD cop subsequently neglected to enter the actual address he wanted to search when filling out a search warrant.

So much incompetence on display here. But here’s one thing the NY Daily News article doesn’t explicitly point out that’s worth noting: The couple (and the previous owner) complained numerous times. It wasn’t until the media ran got wind of the story that NYPD took the time to figure out the problem.

On a lighter note, the fact that the house was actually sold as all this was going on makes me wonder if this is one of those things a seller is obligated to disclose. “Oh, it’s in a great neighborhood. Really excellent schools. And there’s a lovely breakfast nook with bay windows. One thing, though. About once a month, the police are going to come into your home, point their guns at you, and probably scream at you to tell them where you’re hiding the rapist. But . . . granite countertops!”

Challenge to Agitator commenters:  Come up with a real estate euphemism that turns this into a positive.

Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

27 Responses to “This Isn’t Satire”

  1. #1 |  Chuchundra | 

    In New York, you can pay a $500 consideration to the buyer in lieu of filling out a disclosure form. Caveat Emptor.

  2. #2 |  Whim | 

    A novel Real Estate Euphremism?

    “Extra Security Features at no added cost”.

  3. #3 |  John P. | 

    And yet so many wonder why so many more have little faith in the cops… with levels of incompetence such as this on display how could anyone trust them.

  4. #4 |  Dean Kimball | 

    Free security inspections!

  5. #5 |  jb | 

    Location, location, location.

  6. #6 |  Pete | 

    “Strong Police Presence”

    There already is.

  7. #7 |  Aresen | 

    Come up with a real estate euphemism that turns this into a positive.

    “This house invites company over.

  8. #8 |  Darth Cuddly | 

    ‘Absolutely no problems with the neighborhood kids here.’

  9. #9 |  Judas Peckerwood | 


  10. #10 |  Matthew | 

    This is why I always enter “123 Fake Street” for my test addresses.

  11. #11 |  Z | 

    Second Amendment training site with 21st century 4th Amendment features.

  12. #12 |  Mike | 

    “No illegal activity” (on your part)

    “recently inspected”

    “rapid first responders”

  13. #13 |  croaker | 

    @10 I use 123 Sesame Street New York NY

  14. #14 |  Chris | 

    Small-town feel: you’ll be on a first-name basis with neighborhood police officers. Just like Mayberry!

  15. #15 |  Bob | 

    Challenge to Agitator commenters: Come up with a real estate euphemism that turns this into a positive.

    “At least it’s not in New Jersey.”

  16. #16 |  celticdragon | 

    No doubt, the cop fluffers will insist that the couple had it coming for living at a known trouble address.

  17. #17 |  Matthew | 

    Followup – on google maps:

    Did you mean:
    Fake Rd, York, PA 17406
    Fake Rd, Brogue, York, PA 17309
    Fake Dr, 1, West Luray, Page, VA 22835
    Fake Ln, Orangeburg, SC 29118

    Must be hard to get a pizza delivered there

  18. #18 |  marco73 | 

    Real Estate: “So inviting that strangers will knock down the door to get in!”

  19. #19 |  Andr√© | 


    Thank you, sir. You made me laugh out loud.

    /lives in Jersey

  20. #20 |  Joe | 

    Rapid First Responders is good, but 15 is best.

  21. #21 |  thorn | 

    “Perfect for surprise gatherings!”

  22. #22 |  random guy | 

    Seriously, who uses a real address for a test like that?

    “0000 Enter address here” was to difficult for them to think of?

    Or maybe it would just be more embarrassing when a judge inevitably rubber-stamps a warrant with no address on it, so they put a default in to save face.

  23. #23 |  supercat | 

    The article didn’t mention an address; I wonder if it was something like 123 Fake Street (typed in, without realizing that there was in fact some person with a surname of Fake who got a street named after him).

  24. #24 |  supercat | 

    BTW, I would think the proper thing to do in case one needs an address that will pass validation would be to use the police department’s own address. That would pass address validation (whereas 0000 Enter Address Here would not) but raise obvious red flags if anyone was going to raid it.

  25. #25 |  Hunter | 

    In Chicago you could always use Wrigley Field.

  26. #26 |  Deoxy | 

    I would think that they would have an obvious legal case, at least. Seriously, if THIS can’t be grounds for damages, what can?

    (Yes, I know that really, not much can… but if ANYTHING can, wouldn’t this be it?!?)

  27. #27 |  noot | 

    NY courts have actually retreated from Caveat Emptor in recent cases — I think the doctrine is still limited to liability for what a buyer would discover upon a reasonably thorough inspection See: the haunted house case, where a contract for sale was rescinded because the seller didn’t tell the buyer that the house had a reputation for being haunted. (“As a matter of law, the house is haunted”).

    Difficult to place the burden of discovery on a buyer to find out that house gets routinely raided by police by mistake. I think the buyer wins this one.