ingalls redux

It was a nice, quiet Sunday morning. When I arrived at work, Wallace informed me that the place had been jumping all night, even till 5am. There wasn’t a lot of traffic going in and out, but people were out and about, smoking, walking their dogs, running to the Sevvie for sodas–whatever. As a consequence, my morning started slowly. Then I got a call.

“This is Officer Singer. Are you folk missing a any TVs?”

I thought for a moment. I was sure that we hadn’t been missing any, because if one had disappeared, I would have heard about it. So I told the officer that, and also that if one were missing, it would have happened last night. But I also told him that I’d check with my boss to make sure, got the officer’s number, and promised to call or have someone else call him right back. Predictably, Mike freaked out when I passed the message along, and immediately called the officer back himself.

Mike called me back a few minutes later, and told me to have the head housekeeper check all the empty rooms in the back building to make sure that no TVs were missing, and that they were all the right kind. You see, lol-iday inn corporate wants us all to follow a new model, and is having us slowly upgrade. One of the first changes was to install flatscreen TVs in the back building–and that’s the kind of TV the officer was inquiring about.All our TVs are marked in several places with our name and phone number, making them hard to pawn.

I returned to the desk to do my duty, and Mike arrived a few minutes later, then called from the back building to tell me that someone had broken into 131, used it, trashed it, and taken the TV. Officer Singer pulled in a few minutes later, and then Mike called me to come talk to the officer. While we waited for the officer to finish taking notes in the room, Mike nudged me toward the cruiser. “Go on,” he urged. “Look, and see if you know him.”

“Uh, no,” I replied uneasily, vaguely creeped out at looking into the cruiser’s occupied backseat. We joined the officer at 131’s door, and he asked me a few questions about the room, then asked whether I recognized the name John Ingalls. My mind went momentarily blank, and then it came to me. “That’s the dude who stole our mail!”

“O rly?” said the officer.

“Yeah, we kicked them out of here a couple of times. I kicked his wife out with a fake ID, too.”

“Can you verify that that’s him in the car?” the officer asked me.

I hemmed and hawed for a minute. “It’s creepy!”

“It’s cool,” he told me. “You’re fine.”

I edged over to the cruiser and peeped over the lowered rear window at the occupant. There sat John Ingalls, sullen and bleary-eyed. “Hey there,” I said, and turned back to the officer. “Yeah. That’s him.”

“Do you think you could find those incidents on your video?” the officer inquired.

“Sure, I’ll go look that up now,” I said, and returned to the office. I tracked down the dates and times for the video, and handed them off to the officer. Apparently, I then missed some excitement, as a guest came in and informed me that the officer was yelling at someone in the parking lot. Damn.

Eventually, the officer drove off, and Mike gave me some information for calling the DA Monday morning in order to press charges. A very polite gentleman from Forensics came by a little while later to check the scene, and the excitement was over.

Well played, Ingalls.

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