Flash Friday 24/04/2015: Making A Scene Of A Crime
Detective Jones crouched beside the gun on the apartment floor. He cringed when novice detectives picked up a piece and turned it over in their hands, and he wasn’t about to teach such behaviour to Peter. He inspected it from all angles.
“A Glock,” Jones said. “That doesn’t help us at all. You could probably go down the corner store and trade baseball stickers for one of these.”
Peter stepped beside him. “Do you think we could get it IDed and trace it to a gun store?”
“Maybe, but if it’s possible, it’s not for us to do. Not without smearing our fingerprints all over the piece. Still, we have a lead.” Jones stood up, flipping open his notebook. “If we’re to catch the Colorado Butcher, we have to be one step ahead of him at all times. And sometimes, that means taking some where the hell did the gun go?”
Peter blinked. “What gun?”
“The gun that was sitting right there, next to the chalk outline of someone who had been shot.”
Peter looked around the crime scene. “I don’t see any gun.”
“Yes, that’s the point. There was a gun here, and now it’s gone.”
“Really? Because if that’s so, you know what that means, right? We’ve got a theft case on our hands, too. Imagine that, coming in here and witnessing the scene of a murder and a theft at the same–”
Spotting something in Peter’s pocket, Jones made a grab. Peter moved to stop him, but it was too late — Jones had already taken the Glock right out of Peter’s pocket.
“Peter,” Jones said, with a low tone. “Would you like to tell me why you’re pocketing key pieces of evidence?”
“I, uh…” Peter looked to the floor like a guilty schoolboy. “You know, I fell over, and you know what? It must have slipped right in there.”
“Now both our prints are all over this, and it’s all your fault. I’m going to have to go down to the station and take some heart just to clear our names. You, on the other hand, are in a whole lot of trouble.”
“Wait!” Peter cried, grabbing hold of Jones’ shoulder as he walked out the room. “Wait, I can explain everything. Yes, I took the gun from the floor and put it into my pocket. I admit it, alright?”
Jones frowned. “Why the hell did you do that? Don’t you realise how stupid that is?”
Peter opened his mouth to say something, but paused. He looked down and to the side, hands on his hips, thinking. Then he said, “Do you have any idea how much those go for?”
Jones turned the piece over in his hand. “These? A rough estimate. Why?”
“Then you know that they’d make a pretty penny on a market, right?”
“Well…yes, but I have no idea what that has to do with–wait a minute, do you…?”
“To reasonable owners!” Peter added. “Not like criminals or anything. I don’t want to make the city even worse. I just see it as a waste, you know? What will happen to all of this stuff after the criminal investigation happens? Confiscated? Whisked away by an executor? It’s a waste. See that high-tech sound system over there? I mean, sure, it’s splattered with blood from an attack on the victim’s pulmonary arteries, but I bet it’d still work if you plugged it in. Nobody’s going to want to take it home, though. They’ll say its haunted, or cursed, or some other nonsense.”
“So you just keep them, is that it?”
“Not just keep — I can sell them off, as well. So much stuff that goes to waste — why not put it on the market and let it see a second life? Plasma screens, leather chairs, golf clubs. Remember that one victim we visited, where the Colorado Butcher went to town on him with a fire axe?” Peter pulled out a smart phone, showing Jones the screen. “Look how much his head goes for on eBay.”
Jones peeked, then recoiled. “Regardless,” he said, pushing the phone away, “you’re essentially tampering with the scene of a crime. What if some of this stuff you’re pawning off has vital fingerprints? Stray bullets embedded in them?”
Peter shrugged. “Increases the value.”
Jones shook his head, crossing the apartment and opening the front door. “Your hide is going to be tanned when I get back to the station. I can’t even begin to imagine the news. ‘Local Detective Caught Pawning Off Evidence’. They’ll fire you if you’re lucky, strip you to your underwear and hang you upside-down at the town centre if you’re not.” Jones dug into a pocket, placing a cigarette in his mouth and striking a lighter at an attempt to light it. “Your ass is grass, Peter, and you know it. I’ll file a full report on everything you told me. Just…” Jones kept flicking at the lighter, no flame appearing. “Just the moment I get my damn cigarette lit and a smoke to calm me down, I’ll be at the station and–”
Jones looked at the phone Peter was holding out to him. Or, rather, what was on its screen.
“Is…” Jones blinked. “Is that a Cartier?”
Peter nodded. “Gold finish. I hear they make good lighters.”
“And it’s going for…?”
“You’re selling a Cartier for one hundred? Do you know how much they usually sell for?”
Peter shrugged. “It’s amazing what you can find in morgues, really.”
Jones stared at Peter, then the phone again. He dug his hand into his pocket, pulled out a wallet, and drew several bills. He slapped them into Peter’s hand, and said “Buy it now”.
Peter grinned from ear to ear, pocketing the cash. “I knew you’d see the logic in it.”
Jones snorted as he walked to his car. Maybe he should get Peter fired, just so he could find a more lucrative career in trade.