By Author John M. Floyd
Appearing in February 18, 2013 issue.For sale date: February 7th
Tag line: A diamond heist let Sheriff Jones show off his crime-solving skills to Angela Potts!The characters: Sheriff Jones, Angela Potts, Deputy Dawg (just kidding…seeing if you’re alert) Deputy Prewitt.
The gist: An armed robber stole three diamond necklaces while one person, Danny, was manning the jewelry store. Only one other witness saw Danny going to his car. The witness did not see any other suspects. When the call came in from Deputy Prewitt, Ms. Potts was in the sheriff’s office and listened to the call on the speaker phone. Ms. Potts had just been lecturing Det. Jones on how you catch crooks by watching for inconsistencies.Crime scene: Fowler Jewelers.
Clues: The owner of the store was out sick. His son, Danny, was minding the shop. Danny described the robber as a white male, 40ish, dark hair, blue shirt and jacket, tan pants with a belt that had “J” on the buckle. A witness down the street saw Danny walking back to his car afterwards. Danny claims he ran to his car to give chase but gave up realizing it was useless. Danny said the getaway car was a black Ford Escort. Danny added that the thief wore running shoes and red suspenders, which he saw when the man pulled his coat back to draw his gun. The woman never saw anyone else besides Danny.
Suspects: Danny and an unknown male.Red herrings: There are usually no red herrings in a Jones/Potts story. Ms. Potts usually solves the crime before Det. Jones can figure it out…much to the embarrassment of a frustrated Jones.
Solution: Suspenders and belts are both designed to hold up trousers, but most men don’t wear both at the same time leading Det. Jones to question Danny’s story. Mrs. Potts was pleased that Jones followed her advice about inconsistencies. Det. Jones told Deputy Prewitt to ask Danny if the police could search his car. Deputy Prewitt balked asking “Don’t I need a search warrant for that?” Jones replied, “You don’t need one to ask him.” Which led to Danny falling apart and admitting that his wife wanted a bigger house and made him steal the jewelry.My two cents: This all worked very well. For once Sheriff Jones got to solve the crime before Ms. Potts did, but of course, only because she just gave him a lecture on how to solve crimes – lol. My only comment is that a search warrant from a judge is not necessary. If the police ask permission to search your car and you give it to them, they have implied consent. You will be asked to sign the implied consent form and then the police will search the car. If you do not give them permission, then they will have to get a standard search warrant, and for that they have to apply to a judge in a written request, and they have to have probable cause to want to search. But just the threat of a search could very well scare the suspect. And it did.