I was finishing up a computer for a mate about an hour ago, expecting him to turn up at any minute. I heard a tap at the door so walked through to the hall, expecting him to be at the door. He wasn't, but I did have a flier from a charity, Remind Scotland, at the door. As it happens, I need to get rid of some junk clothes anyway, so it wasn't entirely unwelcome. However, I'd already had a flyer from some other charity earlier that day requesting the same sort of junk. So I loaded up Firefox, checked Remind Scotland out on the Charity Comission site. Wanted to see who offered the greater percentage of income to the people they cater to. You ever heard of Remind Scotland? No, nor had the Charity Comission.
So I checked the charity registration number. That didn't come up either. I googled it. Ditto, nothing. I put my shoes on, and took chase.
I caught up with the leafleteers further down the road. I initially saw just one, a girl who looked about 5'5. Then I saw the other, a guy about 6ft tall and proper either handing-out-flyers-for-community-service-type, or collecting-for-heroin-addiction-type. Serious 60-a-day man, walking the opposite side of the street. I cooled the pace and made a couple of phonecalls, one to a policeman friend, another to the mate who was coming down to meet me, and then one to 999. I explained to the police what was going on, gave them the details, and did my best to look totally ordinary, and not at all like I was following the leafleteers, watching their every move, and taking every detail of them. 999 lady agreed to send a police car out. I remained following the two.
Annoyingly, the couple turned onto a different street that ran parallel to my street before long. This left me split, either wait on my street for the police car, or move to the other and continue following the couple. As they were effectively circling, I figured it'd seem suspicious if I continued following them which might make them bail or stab me to death, so I stuck to my street.
The polce car came about five minutes later. I ran up to it to catch it but he didn't see me, instead driving along and stopping off at my house instead. This meant a half mile sprint for me, which, gods, hurts. I caught up with him just after he'd left my house, spoke to him, gave him the leaflet, and he checked it all out. He invited me into the car so we could go on the chase, which I thought was cool.
He radio'd in to get the charity checked out again before we set out to bag the fraudulant little scummers. Unfortunately for this little story of bad-guy getting, it turned out that they were good guys. They just had zero internet presence, and Charity Comission didn't list them because they're Scottish, and the CC only covers England and Wales. So the chase was called off, and the police man and I finished it with a quick chat about local collectors and how half of them are just companies posing as charitable organisations, we shared our distain of them, before offering me a lift home.
I know, this being the itnernet, I totally should've lied about the end of the story and made up that they were frausters and that me ad the policeman totally nailed them. It is a bit of a wet ending to the story as it is. Still, thought I'd share that little story with you, just because I thought it was cool stalking the two along my street, covertly making phonecalls to the police about them. And we /nearly/ busted a couple of my most-despised people, and that's got to be worth something.