It was a quiet evening at the station for a Friday, where normally by this time the squad would have handled at least a couple of dozen drunk and disorderlies, several assaults, a few robberies and an homicide or two, the night crew had only locked up a half a dozen folks. It was cold and rainy outside, so I figured most people must have just stayed home.
Though I don’t mind the quiet occasionally, I had already caught up on all my old paperwork and was starting to get bored. I was even about to offer to help Dickson with some of his filing when I saw Al in the corridor. I waved at him and he shook his head, making me wonder what was up. I decided to hold off going into talk to Dickson until I found what Al had going.
Al walked into the squad room carrying his case file with an odd smile on his face. After pausing at Captain Ackerman’s office waiting to talk to him, he nodded over toward Rick and asked, “Hey Rick, can I borrow your scotch tape?”
“Scotch tape? Hmm, what’s it worth to you?”
“Hey, I’ll let you look at my case here,” Al replied.
“Okay one scotch tape coming up,” I said tossing the dispenser to him, “did you solve another case?” I continued. Al always taped a newspaper clipping of each case he solved inside the case file. It was his way of neatly closing the book on everything. This file was amazingly thin though, it looked like there couldn’t have been more than two or three papers inside.
“Yeah, I solved the robbery case, an easy one it turns out.”
“Hey, those are the nice ones, wish I could tag onto an easy one,” I replied. Trying to think of the last easy case I had. “How long have you had the case?”
“Got it this morning and solved it just a little while ago. Like about 12 hours or so, some kind of record I bet,” he laughed.
“Damn… my quickest case was like a week or so and I can’t recall how long ago that was.”
“The suspect confessed a little while ago. I got him downstairs in lockup writing up his statement. It’s like he could not wait to come in, he practically begged me for the pen and paper. He’s definitely got something on his mind.”
“So is he erecting an excuse for it all?” I said with a grin. “Was it hard getting a confession out of him?”
“Funny, I hardly had to ask a question, it was like the guilt was nagging at him, like he just needed to pop. I tell you, though it wasn’t hard for me, for him it was a different story. You see, he ultimately got caught up in a prostitution sting, ran up to one of our undercover ladies waving his money. He whipped it right out of the drug store bag.”
“The store he robbed?”
“Yeah, had the money in a still in the bag, apparently he was pretty desperate. He ran right up to her, threw the money and was on top of her in an instant. Hell it took three uniforms to pull him off her.”
“Was she hurt at all? I asked.
“Naw, it was Francine, she can handle most anything. To be honest, she seemed impressed at what he was packing. Anyway, the guy needed action quick, you see, from what I hear some policeman visiting a neighbor spooked him so he grabbed the money, swallowed the merchandise he had stolen and ran out.”
“Talk about a boner, he’s not real bright,” I said.
“No, from what I hear, his gifts lay elsewhere. Hell, I think Francine was pissed at the cops for pulling the guy off of her and you should have seen the line watching the mug shots. The profile shot nearly brought a standing ovation. Here, will you file this for me, I got to go talk to the captain and collect the confession.”
I grabbed the file and headed to the filing cabinet as Al headed to the Captain’s Office. In a few moments I heard some wild laughter coming from the, normally stern captain. Al then headed down the stairs, wiping the tears from his eyes. I took a peek at the newspaper clipping and read the headline: Drug Store Robber Gets $500 and Viagra Supply.
“I hear he was a real upstanding citizen,” I said to myself as I closed the file drawer.