Police in Barcelona were called to attend a shoplifting incident at the El Corte Inglés store at the plaza de Cataluña, where a 32 year old man and a woman had both been detained accused of stealing designer clothes worth 500 euro from the store.
Upon searching the man the officers found he was carrying tools believed to be used for detaching alarm tags, whereas the woman was carrying a credit card which didn´t correspond to her name. The pair were subsequently arrested and taken into custody.
Although there seemed nothing unusual about the facts so far, the following morning the police received a call from their National colleagues, reporting that an officer from the Sant Adrià del Besòs station had failed to attend for duty, and they were concerned of his whereabouts, asking for an alert to try to find the missing officer be raised.
It was at the point when the details of the missing officer were being recorded that the name given was flagged up as being the same as the man detained for the shoplifting offences, thus concluding that the alleged thief was in fact a National Police officer.
An internal investigation has also been launched and the man has been temporarily removed from his post pending the results of the enquiry and the court case for theft against him.