So, I'm going out to the scene of the crime to familiarize myself and take some pictures. The eZee Stop had been closed for Christmas day, so naturally two guys decided to break in and steal the money in the till. I'm trying the get away driver, who claims that his buddy asked him to meet at the apartment complex behind the eZee Stop and give him a ride to West Virginia. He claims he knew nothing about nothing until his buddy came tearing around an apartment building and jumped into his car screaming "The cops are coming! Go! Go!" and that he fled with his buddy only because he had a warrant for failing to appear on a driving suspended charge.
I snap a few pictures at the eZee stop where the burglary took place: the back door which was broken in, the register which had been broken open, &cetera. Then I trace the route by which the intruder had run around the building to where the get away car was parked.
Three old guys are sitting in lawn chairs in front of the apartment. As I'm taking pictures, one of them yells out to me, "Hey, I don't need any charges today."
Okay, they've obviously recognized me. Not that it's too hard. I'm a short, round guy with a shaved head who wears a dark suit, bow ties, and a black cowboy hat. You might say I'm identifiable. So, I turn around. "Naw, I ain't looking to put any charges on somebody today. This is about that burglary of the eZee on Christmas."
One of the old guys looks at me, a little confused. "Somebody robbed the Ezee on Christmas?"
Before I can reply one of the others jumps in. "Yeah, I saw the whole thing. I was taking some trash to the dumpster and there was this boy sitting in his car smoking cigarettes on the other side of it. It was that Mullins boy from down Pitcairn way." The other two nod. "So, I get about half way to my apartment when this Mexican kid comes running around the corner of the building and jumps into the car and they take off."
Then I ask, "How was the car parked?"
"Well, he was backed in and it was running. He took off as soon as that Mexican boy got the door closed."
Ah, the joy of breaking a case wide open through hard work, skillful effort, preparation, and a big heaping dollop of being the luckiest man alive at a particular moment.
As you might guess, after I found THE witness, Mr. Mullins decided that prudence dictated that he plead guilty.
Yes, that's how it normally works. Hard work, skillful effor and preparation CREATES the luck, which leads to pleas.
And this is why, as a cop, I am willing to go door to door for hours, revisit scenes... and just generally spend way too much time working cases.
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