Man receives text messages from undercover police officers - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Man receives text messages from undercover police officers

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

We've all received a text from an unknown phone number and most of the time its just a harmless mistake.

But one Glendale man got hundreds of text messages that appear to have been meant for undercover police officers.

"It just gets a lot more in depth and a lot scarier because the stuff that you see here," said the man.

This man did not want us to identify him because he was concerned about the dozens of mysterious text messages he'd been receiving.

"After a while, I'm reading the texts and it seems these people are stealing a car, they had a site plan, they had a place to meet, a place to go, how fast to go, who's covering each exit, I didn't want to reply to that," he said.

One message included a picture of someone labeled "CI", which stands for a confidential informant. Another was the picture of a car.

"Well, they said possible vehicle to be stolen, so I guess it was a sting operation for stolen vehicles or something I don't know so somehow you ended up on a mass text for an undercover sting operation is that what you're thinking that's it," he said.

Not knowing who to turn to, he called the Glendale Police Department since that's where he lives.

"The lady on the phone said 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," he said.

We called one of the phone numbers on the mass text list. At first no one answered, then they called us back.

It turns out, the number we dialed belonged to a detective with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office who had been taking part in a surveillance training class the last couple days.

As part of the training, the officers and deputies were using their cell phones to communicate during a practice surveillance mission.

So the officers in the class exchanged numbers it appears someone may have input a phone number wrong and accidentally included this man in on the training operation.

The detective I spoke with said during a real surveillance operation they would 'not' normally communicate using text messages.

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