Father’s Halloween prank backfires as police show up to his door over reports of ‘kidnapping’ – before realising it was a plastic arm and leg attached to his van
A father’s Halloween prank backfired after officers came to investigate reports of a ‘kidnapped’ man hanging from the back of his van – before they realised it was just a plastic arm and leg.
Darren Houlker, 49, was driving to visit his father in Urmston, Greater Manchester and had forgotten that he’d left the alarming decorations realistically lodged between the doors of his white van.
On his way back from the visit, the father-of-two was shocked when he saw a police officer at his house through the Ring app so he rushed home, where a concerned police officer told him they were investigating a reported kidnapping.
The father prankster has bought police tape to go around his van so he can now be even more effective in spooking people
A grinning Mr Houlker asked the officer to check the van and said when the officer took a closer look he laughed, radioed to colleagues to ‘all stand down’, and even hailed it ‘one of the best jobs he’s been called out to’.
The prankster father has even bought some crime tape to go around his van so he can continue to frighten people over Halloween weekend and his Facebook post about the incident has racked up more than three thousand shares.
The father-of-two from Urmston, Greater Manchester, said: ‘It’s all pretty idiotic. The person who called it in probably should go to Specsavers.
Darren Houlker, 49, said the concerned 999 caller must have been a motorist because his neighbours ‘know what he’s like’
‘It’s a little prank that I do. Usually I put it in my car but this year I thought I’d put it in my van because I’m not using the van this week.
‘I nipped out to drop some bits off at my dad’s house and I forgot about it.
‘On the way back I stopped at my brother’s house and I could hear sirens, so I thought “what’s going on”, then my Ring app pinged and I saw the police outside my door.
Mr Houlker’s Facebook post to business page Jmh Leisure has since been liked more than 1,800 times and gained more than 853 comments.
‘I was worried because I didn’t know if my partner had called them, so I flew back home. I asked him what the matter was and he said “we’ve had a report about kidnapping”.
‘I just said “mate, go and look at the back of the van”.
‘He shut his eyes, looked to the skies and said “everybody stand down, it’s a prosthetic arm and leg”. They must have had a full police search for me.
Mr Houlker said he was shocked when he saw a police officer at his house through the Ring app so he rushed home
‘He couldn’t stop laughing. He said “that’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever been called out”.
‘It probably made his day. It was comical. I’d only put it there that morning, so it was only there for a few hours.
‘The officer said the caller told them it was like someone had been bundled into the van, but you’d be driving erratically if that happened. I was just driving normally.
‘Because it was windy as I was driving down the road, I think the arm and leg were moving. That probably added to it. Somebody behind must have thought someone was asking for help.
‘The prank’s gone perfectly, but I didn’t expect it to go that far. Maybe it went too far, but it’s all good fun. This hasn’t put me off at all. I’ll leave it on the drive.’
The post gained more than 1,800 likes and more than 853 amused comments with people expressing their disbelief that the police was called
Mr Houlker added the concerned 999 caller must have been a motorist because his neighbours ‘know what he’s like’ as they’ve seen him put the plastic limbs in his car in previous years.
The bouncy castle hire firm owner who lives with his two children Mollie Houlker, nine, Jack Houlker, 13, and partner Michelle Wood, 44, even insists he’ll have to think of how to go ‘one better’ with next year’s prank.
His Facebook post to business page Jmh Leisure, has since been liked more than 1,800 times and gained more than 853 comments.
The bouncy castle hire firm owner who lives with his two children and partner even insists he’ll have to think of how to go ‘one better’ with next year’s prank
The post said: ‘I HONESTLY CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!! Someone has phoned the police because they thought someone was being kidnapped in my van, how f**king stupid are some people. Glad the copper saw the funny side of it.’
User Kyle joked: ‘Oh yeah, because you tend to leave half their body dangling out the boot when you kidnap someone, don’t you?.’
Steven Davies added: ‘Unfortunately that’s the world we live in. too many KARENS kicking about for my liking.’
Claire Radford commented: ‘Brilliant. f*king hilarious. They mustn’t be feeling the Halloween spirit?’
Greater Manchester Police have been contacted for comment.