The Detective Tales of Tobitron9k
A dapper man with hackly blond hair and pale blue eyes is riding his bike in front of me. As I turn on to Broadway I run to catch the light. His name is Danilov Kretskovich he is an insurance thief, failed car salesman and veteran of the Chechnya conflict. His favorite band is the Beetles or at least it is their famous “Back in the USSR” that he plays every morning as he eats breakfast.
The traffic is thinning I try to envision apologizing to every car as they pass. To maintain my disguise I must appear the most sorrowful college student this side of Brigham Young University. Dan has noticed me and he is now a bit ticked off. But my forlorn appearance is not directly threatening to his scheme. I see the bicyclist dismount and chain his bicycle to the guard rail designating the street car stations.
He hastily jaunts up the street, looks both ways and then disappears into Mattress World. From my vantage point across the street. I saw that Dan approached the official entrance of the store but instead stopped at a green paneled wall, at which point he slipped on a pair of calfskin leather gloves the type that are smooth enough not leave a trace. He looked both ways and knocked on the panel 3 times, it opened like a portcullis and in the darkness of that entrance I saw an arm and a leg on the other side. He entered and the panel came down.
The street was clear now, I could pass the road and approach the station. I was alone except for the bike and the covered bench of the streetcar station. I took out my notebook and began furiously writing, embodying both my role as angsty college student and recording everything I could for my report to HQ. Dan has back up right now and I certainly don’t, but with the frustrated look on his face when he noticed my approach it shows a degree of indecisiveness. I’ve been tracking him for a month now. No matter how conceited the observer is, the observed can sense them on some level.
The station bench showed the first real clue, the bench had a pair of cheap blue gloves. They were likely a plant to firm up the story that Dan would tell to the insurance company. An acomplis would come by break the weak point in the bike lock and be sure to leave traces of the gloves all over the lock. The streetcar was coming in 2 minutes.
I waited two minutes, and then 4 more minutes, no sign of the street car, no sign of an accomplis. Then something happened that I did not expect. Dan came back. I was hunched over my pad, but even from this angle I could tell his gloved hands were clenching and unclenching in anxiety. He was carrying heat in his waist band. But I now realized I had been saved at that moment by a pregnant woman who had crossed the street and was now approaching us.
Not wanting to test my luck any further I took another look up from my notebook at the time, and decided to vacate the premises. If this college student missed the streetcar I needed to hastily grab a bus two blocks away.
The take home from this experience was that there was probably not going to be a third accomplice to come and physically steal the bike, there had to be mechanism inside the bike lock that could be remotely activated so that Dan or the second accomplice could come back and take the bike. Not to hard to jury rig and a team of two thieves is usually a very tight unit. Finally, I have learned that there may be some exploitable flaws within the organization, yet there are likely connections to organizations higher up the criminal underground.