The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Getting Arrested

For several reasons, hitchhiking is a very popular mode of transportation for those who find themselves on the run. But handy as it is for covering long distances undetected, there’s also a lot of room for the undetected part to go completely out the window. This is especially true when the mighty and mysterious hand of our good friend wacky coincidence decides to get involved.

To illustrate this, we give you a story from November 2012.

Back in Newfoundland after some time away, Ken Colson found himself in need of a ride. That ride eventually came in the form of kind motorist Des Burridge.

As they drove, the two got to talking. Naturally, at some point the subject turned to what’s your name, my friend? Upon hearing the name Ken Colson, Burridge couldn’t escape the feeling that he’d heard that name before. He was sure he had, but where?

…And then it hit him.

Though he spends part of his time as a kindly transporter of hitchhikers, Des Burridge’s primary task is RCMP Constable. And though he is currently trying to pass himself off as passenger needing some wheels for a few minutes, Ken Colson is also known as a guy who skipped Newfoundland more than six years earlier after having been charged with fraud. There were several warrants out on him, and as luck would have it, Burridge was actually the lead investigator on a team who had been searching for him since he left.

How a lead investigator has never seen a picture of his suspect is a mystery to me, but that’s what’s reported to have happened here. But picture or no picture, off duty Constable Burridge pulled his car over and arrested what was apparently the right guy.

Somewhere, Ken Colson has to be thinking about this story and kicking himself. If he’d only taken the time to come up with an alias, there’s a good chance he’d still be free.

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