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Somewhere in LaCrosse, Wis., there's a woman whose home officers might want to skip when selling tickets to the next policemen's ball. She already may have had more than enough contact with them for the time being. In their zeal "to protect and serve," it seems they didn't exactly do either in her situation last month.
Through no fault of her own, the resident ended up in a Crime Stoppers video posted on the Internet to ask the public's help in catching a credit-card thief. She'd been recorded by a surveillance camera at a convenience store, using plastic to pay for a purchase, and the time code on the tape matched the data from the cash register. The police appeal ran for three days before an acquaintance of the "suspect" saw it and told her. Then she watched it, too. And that's where the case began to unravel.
What the cops didn't realize is that in the space of less than a minute, almost identical buys were made at the same register by two similar-looking customers using credit cards – and they'd picked the wrong one. "We feel horrible," said a spokesman for the force. "We want to do all we can to minimize any inconvenience or embarrassment [she] may have experienced." So a corrected version of the appeal was posted. And the woman has been issued both a private and public apology. No word on whether candy and flowers were sent as well.