In a striking display of cheeky ingenuity usually not seen outside of two-bit daytime sitcoms, a New Haven police officer successfully frightened two wanted men out of a house by imitating a barking police dog.

The saga began in Hamden, where the two men out-drove Hamden police in a car chase before being spotted entering the mostly-empty house on Emerson Street in New Haven, the New Haven Register reported. After alerting the owner and third-floor residents of the house of the situation, the officers channeled their inner Monty Python characters by using the first and most absurd tactic that occurred to them: threatening to send in a police dog despite lacking exactly that.

Unwilling to be called on his bluff and lose all credibility, one officer epitomized “going with the flow” by starting to bark in what was apparently a good enough imitation of a ferocious dalmatian to scare New Haven’s toughest into submission. The men exited the house to avoid canine justice, and the police then arrested them, presumably while high-fiving each other and gushing about how they never thought that would work.

The men were charged with motor vehicle theft and burglary, with other charges pending.