Tom was famous locally in his political party (he even ran for sheriff – being a retired Phoenix Police detective, and all) and many of his customers were people with party affiliations. One such woman was Pepsi Muskrat (a comedic play on her real name-to protect the barfly). She was an older woman (60?) who appeared much older due to her long-time affection for alcohol.
Ms. Muskrat called Tom one day to explain some items had been burgled from her home, and she thought she knew who was responsible. She had reported the matter to the police, but, they didn’t take her lead seriously, and did nothing save take a report. You see, she had given a key to a local
teen thug misguided youth (contracted to do odd jobs), and subsequently the items went missing. Items that might easily be converted to cash. And the teen was known in the neighborhood to have an affinity for glue and paint, much as our client did for the bottle.
So our work was cut out for us. I was sent, partnered up with Jack W., our office manager, whom I had known previously as a manager for B*****. He had been a top sales guy for L***** armored car company, and a hell-of-an-investigator.
We canvassed the house, yard and alley, looking for stashed loot left for later pickup, and questioned Ms. Muskrat. She didn’t want us talking to the neighbors. Sigh.
The task of interviewing this minor
scumbag person-of-interest fell to me. I spoke with his mother on the telephone, and she agreed I could come over in the evening to interview her son.
I arrived on time, trusty tape recorder and legal pad in hand. Mother and Father were present with their son. At least some of the time. They kept leaving the room to watch television. Stellar parenting.
The interview was non-productive. The subject was non-committal about virtually everything: times, dates places, work done. He did say he didn’t steal anything. I was able to retrieve the house key from him.
So there we were. Ms. Muskrat was unhappy. I truly think she thought we were going to sequester the young lad under a hot light and sweat him until he gave up the swag. No such luck.
We did check some of the local pawn shops, just in case. Nothing.
Such was sometimes the less-than-exciting life of a hapless PI.