Friday, March 8, 2013

Title: Going for the gold
By Author John M. Floyd

Appearing in issue #11, March 18, 2013
For sale date:  March 7, 2013

Tag line:  Angela Potts was scrutinizing the security tape when suddenly everything went black.  Was that a clue?
Police characters: Sheriff Jones, retired school teacher Angela Potts

The gist:  A robbery has occurred at Dalton’s Gold Exchange.  According to witnesses the security camera was shot out.  The video footage is located in a different part of the store and was retrieved.   The store owner, Wade Dalton, and two employees were present, Eddie Ruiz and Arthur Lane.  They claim a masked gunman came in through a locked alley door around noon, shot the security camera and made off with two pounds of gold coins and ingots.  Before the tape went black the head of the owner of the store could be seen moving into frame, then ducking down.  A pop of a gunshot could be heard just before  the screen went black.  The owner was the only person on tape.  The other men were behind the counter and out of camera view.  Mrs. Potts asked for a description of the employees and was told their clothing which included the owner wearing penny loafers. 
Crime scene:  Dalton’s Gold Exchange

Clues:  Sheriff Jones noted that all three men in the store were cooperative but nervous when questioned.   Ingots are hard to sell without attracting attention.  The robber had to have knowledge where to fence them.  The perpetrator came in through the back door where there was only one camera.  The tape shows the owner, Wade Dalton, walking in from the direction of the back door, making Sheriff Jones wonder if he unlocked the door to let the robber in.   Just before the tape goes black, Wade is seen ducking, indicating that he knew the camera was about to be shot.  When questioned, he told police he had bent over to tie his shoe.   
Suspects:  Unknown masked robber.  One of the employees.  The owner, Wade.

Red herrings:  It is mentioned that one of the employees is a young male with tattoos.  Also that neither of them has a record…yet.
Solution:  Because Wade Dalton lied when he said he bent over to tie his shoe when he had Penny loafers on, Mrs. Potts fingered him for insurance fraud.

My two cents:  The story works.  This time Sheriff Jones had one or two good lines.  “It’s a new store.  They buy, sell and trade anything gold.  Watches, rings, teeth, you name it.”  While watching the video he said, “Criminals one, businessmen zero.”

 I thought the clue was easy enough; penny loafers vs. laced shoes.  You have to wonder after so many years on the force why Sheriff Jones never sees the clue in front of his face – lol. 
My only comment is that during an investigation cops will ask for a description of the robber, not what the employees are wearing. Although Mrs. Potts asked that question, I doubt Sheriff Jones would have made those kinds of notes.  I would have changed that part so that we got a full head-to-toe glimpse of Wade on the video.  That way we could see what shoes he had on.  I also thought the ‘young man had tattoos’ was a bit of racial profiling.  Racial profiling is a process by which individuals are targeted for special attention, often by such things as height, weight, build, clothing, hair color, tattoos, hats, the car they are driving, etc.  Of course, cops do that in the real world but I thought it was a bit un-PC for WW. 

Also the tag line wasn’t the greatest, but this is often not the work of the author.

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