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For Queen, Profit and Diamonds
A brown folder was placed on the detective’s desk. “This,” said the police chief Jim Selmer,” is your next assignment.” The chief was a man of average height with a dark burly beard and dark black hair; he wore a grave expression as he briefed the young detective. The detective with a smile asked calmly what it was about, waiting eagerly for a reply.
“Apparently, three bank robbers have been stealing millions from federal banks in London; they were former police officers and know all our drills, tactics, and timing. Their crimes have been affecting the city’s funds. It has been nearly impossible for us to track them; we have little evidence, and any witnesses have been unable to provide us with any clues. We however, believe to know who they are. Our suspects are three police officers who had an early retirement earlier this year, on January 21’st 2008, about the time the crimes began. We believe that they were undercover for the Vellenci Crime Family, and that their motive is to make money for their smuggling operation. Here are their names.”
The chief passed a small slip of paper across the desk to the detective. Three names showed up, Peter Verendez, Charlie Segempti and Robert Trimson. The detective was intrigued; he had worked with these people before. Almost reading his mind, the police chief stated, “We know that you’ve worked with these people before, this may help you to break this case. Good luck, you’re dismissed.”
Detective James Wright took a breath of London’s cool winter air and set off to the latest bank that had been robbed by the three cops. Snow hadn’t fallen yet but the weather was frigid. Tall buildings outlined the horizon with Big Ben visible far in the distance, and streets were crowded with pedestrians and tourists blocked the way for many. Wright was a tall lanky man, with dark brown hair slicked back, who always seemed to be wearing a suit and wearing cocky expression on his face. He had a hunch that there were some clues that were missed in the crime investigation.
Outside the bank the detective encountered police tape fluttering in the breeze like leaves in the fall. The bank’s double doors groaned ominously as the detective entered the bank, huge vaulted ceilings emphasized the vastness of the building and decorated tiles shone with a shiny polish. He expected it to be empty but one bank teller happened to be behind the counter. He was frantically packing up and set off to the door before Wright had stopped him. He had a thin face with blonde hair cut short and looked to be in a rush. Despite this, He asked him to stay to help him investigate. With a flash of a badge, he grudgingly obliged.
“Who are you?”
“Were you here when the bank was robbed?”
“Tell me what happened”
“It was about noon; three masked men came in holding guns and forced everyone down. I tried setting off the silent alarm, but they had disabled it from the outside. Everyone was held down and I was forced to give them all the money the bank had from my booth. After that, they tied everyone up. About thirty minutes after they had left the police came and freed us all.”
“So you were the victim”
“Yes and that’s why I’m quitting”
“I have a few more questions. Were these four streaks on the counter there before the robbery, and were there any markings or anything that could be used to identify the criminals?”
“Those streaks weren’t there before, but I don’t know how they got there, I was busy giving them money. I also remember a healed cut on one man’s cheek and a dark illegible tattoo on another’s hand.”
Inspector James thanked the man for his help and wrote down what he had learned in a small pocket notebook. The evidence he learned could help convict the criminals and find a breakthrough for his case. Memories flashed through the inspector’s mind. Peter Verendez had the tattooed hand, Charlie Segempti the cut and the last person was Robert Trimson. They really had become criminals.
Night was falling, and the detective had headed home. He placed his notebook and folder given to him by the police chief in his private study. Here, he placed all his previous cases and any evidence he found. It was a treasure trove of newspaper clippings of crimes from years ago, awards from the police academy for breaking cases and shelves lined with the detective’s famous mystery books. He was a man who enjoyed reading.
He emerged in his bedroom tired. He wanted to sleep to prepare for the next day’s investigation. A loud crash was then heard. The detective jumped at the sound and listened eagerly. There were sounds of struggle coming from his upstairs study, two shots were fired and two thuds were heard. The detective proceeded slowly up his stairs. Millions of thoughts were racing through his head right now, he wondered if his valuables in there were safe, to leave the house and get help or to swallow his courage and open his study’s door. Detective Wright suddenly realized that his folder containing the chief’s briefing was in there. If that was stolen the case would be near-impossible to solve. Important information was all kept there. Time was running out, anything could’ve been happening in his study, he was forced to choose the latter.
He quickly opened the door, his windows were shattered and his folder was gone, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Two bodies were strewn on his floor. They were shot and clearly dead. Detective Wright quickly realized that the three were obviously being paid to get the evidence that would arrest them by their boss. Money was always easier to split between one person rather than three. He examined his study for any evidence for where the last person went. He was able to identify the two dead as Trimson and Verendez. Segempti must have his folder and be heading back to his boss. He checked the bodies for any clues until coming across a small lump in Trimson’s pocket. It was a diamond. The three must have been helping to smuggle diamonds for profit. It was in its raw form, uncut and unpolished, but it was still valuable. Wright also noticed four indentations around his fingers that were places where rings, probably diamond, used to be. His rings must have made the scratches on the counter back at the bank. He checked Verendez and noticed red powder streaked across his jacket and that his pants were wet around his ankles. Detective Wright had just made his breakthrough. He called the police to his home, pocketed the diamond and set off on the open road.
Thanks to Segempti’s blunder of leaving behind evidence Detective Wright was able to find out what the Vellenci crime family was smuggling overseas and where their base of operations was located. The red streaks were easily identified as rust and the damp ankles were evidence of water. Both of these things are common elements of London’s abandoned port, a perfect place for Segempti to conduct his boss’s operations. Detective Wright quickly headed there and along with the help of the London Police Force, believed that the smugglers would be apprehended smoothly and easily.
When Detective Wright arrived at the harbor he walked quietly along until he saw men loading boxes onto a boat. He could easily tell that diamonds were inside them and in the distance he could see Segempti organizing the operation. The waves slowly pounded the concrete outline of the shore as shadows danced in the moonlight. Indiscernible chatter woke up the night with the stars twinkling in the clear, cloudless sky. The night breeze traveled quietly through the night creating an omen of what was to happen next. His boss was obviously not there for fear of being caught. However Segempti never knew this. Most of the men were armed and Wright knew that it was unsafe to let things escalate into armed conflict. He decided to call his police chief to let him know that the whereabouts of the smuggling operation were confirmed and to send his men to apprehend the criminals. The police arrived in minutes as sirens were heard in the distance. The criminals tried to escape but were easily stopped by the police. All were arrested and no one was hurt. While being dragged away Segempti’s face contorted in anger and frustration as he saw that his former partner James Wright had him caught in the end.
In the morning the police chief congratulated Detective Wright in his office.
“You helped to solve a huge case, and you will be substantially rewarded. Hopefully we can continue to rely on your services as time goes on by.”
“It was no problem; I was just doing my job”
“One last thing detective,” said the police chief pulling a folder out of a bin.
The detective looked up inquisitively.
“Here’s your next case.”