So one of my processing monkeys came to me today while I was enjoying a much-deserved mug of warm, milky tea, to ask me if I could help them. You see, they had a claim on file for money taken from a safe in a shop. The intruder had gotten in under the nose of the chap on duty, who was then accosted and tied to a chair by the attacker, who scarpered with a sackful of loot. And this all didn’t sit well with the monkey.
“So what do you have on file to show me what happened?” I asked.
“Security photos” she replied, thumbing through the pages of her big manila folder to find a series of grainy stills, which were thrust under my nose.
And so I sighed, and made a big show of retiring my paperback and iPod and getting my feet off my desk, and sat her down to explain how to turn her gut feeling into an argument.
We have a dozen black and white shots of the office, the crim (in a hoodie) and the heroic employee (also be-hoodie-ed).
“Look here” I point to the office desk in the third photo. Blank stare. “The chap sits our hero down, but doesn’t tie him up right away. So our chap sits quietly on his thumbs while our gunman puts his pistol on a pile of papers and shuffles off to the safe. And doesn’t even look at our hero or the gun for a good thirty seconds. Only after he’s got the goodies does he tape up our man and beetle off. And going by the time-stamp our boy gets out of the ropes in about 2 minutes. Which means?”
“He was scared?” came the timorous reply.
So I sigh again, and display my Powers of a God. For these hapless urchins have tattle-tales on their files that tell me if anything interesting comes in. So I’d already read this file’s electronic copy being a Caring and Conscientious mentor to these lads and lasses. But poor muggins here was unaware. So I looked closely at the picture and said “Our boy looks like he could handle himself” (and he did, big lad, in a camo hoodie, who looked like he hits his heads on doorframes on the way through) “and is probably bent as anything. Anyone that calm is either in on the blag, or used to being around guns. Probably both. See if he’s got a criminal record, the investigator should have done a personal history.”
And lo, page seven of the report did indeed deal with the employee’s vast love of guns and drugs. And the poor lass looks at me in awe at my profiling prowess.
“So” I grandly went on “here we have a con with a gun fetish towering over this lad kneeling on the floor in front of the fast-emptying safe and with a pistol in arm’s reach, not doing anything? Not too likely, is it? Just sitting idly by, not saying anything except the combination to the safe?”
And dawn broke across the tiny dancer’s features. And she enthusiastically started spotting all the other faults with the set-up until I calmed her down and told her to list them so we can get someone burly to chat with our heroic duty manager and hit him with telephone books.
Hopefully my little processing protégé will prove the big angry employee is involved in the goings-on, and the gunslinging crim will in turn get fingered, sending two hoodrats to prison for a long, long time. And I can go home with a feeling that I’ve achieved something positive today. Even though they are really victims and society is to blame for their going off the rails, even though it is a failing on the part of their parents and teachers that led them to this life of amateur crime, they still need to feel the jackboot of justice on their testicles of anti-social behaviour. Hang ‘em high, lads, hang ‘em high.
Nb. details of this crime have been changed to protect my job.