July/August 2017 Challenge - whodunnit? mystery
The Remarkable Robber
“Calm down, miss,” Detective Leeper said over the phone. “My team will be over in a few minutes. At that time, we will ask for details and start questioning possible suspects.”
“Thank you, Emily,” Ms. Miner nodded. As she ended the call, she went through a list mentally in her mind: who could be a suspect? She had no enemies, not any that would steal such items, her house was always secured, always, and...
Ms. Miner crumpled to her couch in tears. Why would anyone do such a thing? To her? She was just a middle-aged woman living in a small town with only two things she held close to her heart. And when you live in a small town, everybody knows everything about everyone.
So the thief knew that her best friend and friend’s brother—and their two friends—were detectives.
When there was a knock at the door just moments later, Ms. Miner jumped. She walked over to the front door, wiped a silent tear away, and slowly opened it to the team of detectives.
“Hey, guys,” Ms. Miner smiled. “Come on in.”
“Thanks for calling us right away, Rebecca,” Detective Brister nodded. “I can’t believe someone would do such a thing.”
“What was stolen?” Detective Trott asked.
She pulled out a notebook as Rebecca explained. “The first thing I noticed was the 24 carat golden cross necklace my mom gave to me just before she passed away.”
“Someone stole that?” Detective Leeper gasped. “Oh, Rebecca, I’m so sorry.”
“That’s not the only thing,” she sighed. “They also stole my 14k ruby stud earrings Dad gave me last year.”
“Was that all, miss?” Detective Headley asked.
“I believe so,” Rebecca nodded. “Thank you so much for coming over, Emily.”
“Always,” she nodded. “We promise, we’ll start right away.”
“I don’t suppose you have any possible suspects, though... or do you?” Detective Headley asked, remembering she didn’t know Rebecca as well as her fellow co-workers did.
“I’m sorry, I don’t, Evelyn,” Ms. Miner shook her head. “If I think of anyone, I promise to get a hold of you, Emily.”
“Thank you,” Detective Leeper shut the door behind her.
The thief walked along, plotting their next move. News spread fast, and somehow, the detectives were already on the case. The extra two days of planning were gone.
The thief knew where the treasures were hidden. They could stay there, for now, until the thief was questioned. Everyone in the town would be questioned in the next 48 hours, it was figured, possibly 36 if all four detectives were on the case.
The thief needed to keep a cover, and the cover had to be good.
“I can’t believe someone stole that,” Emily shook her head, looking at Leilani’s notebook. “Someone stole that necklace.”
“That was a beautiful necklace,” Leilani agreed. “What has me off on this whole thing is the earrings.”
“Emily, over here,” Evelyn called from her laptop. “There are too many types of necklaces that match the description Rebecca gave us. Do you know what it looks like?”
“I do,” Detective Brister piped up. “She wears it every day, it’s hard to miss.”
As Jason walked over to Evelyn, Leilani sat at the table, firing questions at Emily. “Any enemies?”
“Not that I’m aware of,” she shook her head.
“Any conflicts in general?”
“Rebecca did fire someone at work a few days ago,” Emily said after a moment. “Then again, they kept showing up to work half an hour late, doing as little work as possible, and always leaving an hour before without any notice. Maybe they’re seeking out revenge.”
“Well, that’s a start,” Evelyn commented. “Do we know anything about the past employee?”
“He lives in the next town over,” Jason answered. “His name is Carter Thoe, and he didn’t like his job. Only got it for the money, and when Rebecca fired him he was pretty mad. That was his first job since the beginning of the year.”
When he was given a strange look by Emily, he continued. “He called me up the other day when he heard some strange noise in the middle of the night, and after finding out it was just his darn cat we ended up talking for an hour.”
“Fair enough,” she shrugged. “I actually know where Carter lives, so are we going to get some questioning done or not?”
The thief eavesdropped on the detective’s conversations. They were off to the next town, about an hour drive; that opened up three hours minimum to plot for the next ten possible moves.
The thief still needed a new plan, a backup plan. What could go wrong with a backup plan?
The thief; little did he know, a lot could go wrong with a backup plan.
“So if it’s not Carter, and it’s not anyone in town,” Emily sunk into a seat, “who could it be?”
“There has to be someone we haven’t questioned yet,” Jason wrapped his hands around his coffee. “There has to.”
“Well, let me know when you come up with this person,” Trott said. “We’ve been at this for 48 hours. Whoever this thief is knows his way around a group of detectives.”
“I’m still convinced that Rebecca’s neighbor knows something,” Evelyn thought aloud. “I mean, she acted like she was ready for questions.”
“Whenever you open your front door and see four detectives you heck should be ready for questions,” Detective Leeper took a sip of coffee before almost immediately setting it back down. She stared at the object, that’s not it, is it? No, that’s just a glimmer she saw in the corner of her eye...
“Guys,” she whispered, slowly standing up and walking to the nearby table. Slowly bending down, Emily put on a pair of gloves that were in her pocket and picked up the two boxes.
“Guys, I think I just found the stolen items.”
“You what?” Detective Brister exclaimed, hurrying next to his friend.
Emily opened the first box, and alas, there was the ruby earrings. She set the whole thing on the table, and slowly opened the second box where there was indeed the necklace—the last thing Rebecca had from her passed mother.
“Those—That’s it,” Jason agreed. “But there was no one at the table when we got here, so we don’t have any suspects.”
“We could look at the fingerprints,” Detective Trott suggested. “That was my plan if we found the items before the thief.”
“Good thinking, Trott,” Evelyn agreed.
The thief watched from afar—the detectives found the necklace and earrings. They should be hesitating, but no.
The thief smiled. Everything was falling into place, piece by piece.
The thief had one job left to do, and that was wait.
The next morning, Emily was the first to wake up—like usual. Typically she would wait around until her co-detectives texted her saying they were awake, but not today. Today, Emily was going to the pawnshop, because something just didn’t feel right.
She tried to shake off the feeling as she put her coat on, but the coat, in fact, did the opposite, only remind her of why something wasn’t right. The gold and rubies should be heavier, not enough to make a difference to the average citizen, but enough to where any detective knew right away it was fake.
Emily drove to the pawnshop—this had to be iron pyrite, she was definite, why was she unsure?
But even after it was confirmed that the thief had made replicas of the true treasures, Detective Leeper still had a funny feeling.
Meet me at headquarters in 15, she texted her friends. Found out some new info.
When everyone was in the headquarters, the feeling grew. And as she told everyone that it was fool’s gold, the insecurity grew even stronger.
“Well, we can still fingerprint it,” Evelyn suggested. “Whoever made the replica couldn’t have worn gloves. Making a piece with iron pyrite? This perfect? Anything on their hands would’ve messed it all up.”
“I’ll go ahead and grab it,” Emily suggested, feeling some better. “It’s in your drawer, correct, Jason?”
“Oh, uh, no, I moved it,” he stammered.
As soon as the drawer was opened, and as soon as Emily had her hand on the fingerprint kit, she stopped. She slowly turned around, and that was all the proof she needed.
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