Fake News: Man Did NOT Put 70 Fake Weed Plants on Terrace to Taunt Police

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Man Did NOT Put 70 Fake Weed Plants on Terrace to Taunt Police

Did a man from Salem put seventy fake weed plants on his terrace in order to taunt or fool the police? No, that's not true: the story about the man who thought he could fool police helicopter patrols into leaving him alone by first putting up plastic weed plants and then replacing them with real ones after the police had raided his place is totally made up. It originated as a joke on a Spanish satire website and was translated (badly) for the English version of the site later.

The English version of teh story appeared in an article published on December 10, 2018 titled "Man puts on his terrace 70 fake plants of weed to taunt the police" (archived here) which opened:

The event took place in Salem, when a resident, who is known for devote his time to work without having a profession, had come up with a plan: To buy seventy plastic marijuana plants and put in a visible place in his own porch.

He thought: a police helicopter would figure it out and collects evidence to get a warrant and inspect the apartment. Once this step is carried out, he would change plastic plants for real ones, unnoticed. It all happened just like he planned: plastic, helicopter, warrant, break-in and also taunt which police were obliged to face, "What's wrong? Can't I collect plastic plants?" Thereafter, he followed through with his plan; he changed the false plants for the true ones, while he greeted police flying over the area.

Here is the original Spanish version, which was set in Cádiz instead of Salem and which was originally published in March 2018:

Pone en su terraza 70 plantas falsas de marihuana para mofarse de la Guardia Civil

Ha sucedido en un municipio de la provincia de Cádiz, un vecino del pueblo que es conocido por dedicarse a "sus labores" sin tener oficio legal alguno, había ideado un ingenioso plan, comprar setenta plantas de marihuana de plástico y colocarlas muy visibles en la terraza de su propia vivienda.

The site There Is News carries a "Legal Warging" (archived here) that reads:

Legal Warging

The site "There is news" (http://thereisnews.es) (hereinafter referred to as TIN) is a humor site whose purpose is entertainment.

The content of TIN is fiction and does not correspond to reality.

All references, names, brands or institutions that appear on the site are used as contextual elements, as in any novel or fiction account.

(Note that the site thereisnews.es doesn't exist, only the .com version is live)

The site is the English language version of the Spanish satire site Hay Noticia, which is owned by Spanish humor website/collective La Fabrica de la Comedia S.C.

We wrote about thereisnews.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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