While working patrol with the Metro Nashville Police Dept. I responded to a standard call for service, a burglary report. Of course I was a rookie at the time and really did not enjoy taking reports. I’d rather be doing proactive work, like chasing down the bad guys. You can call me an adrenaline junkie, it’s ok. However, I responded to this call with a smile on my face. The lady who made the call met me at her front door and immediately directed me to view a safe in the floor of her closet. She reported that she kept approximately $10,000 cash inside her safe and when she came home from work she discovered the safe open and the money missing.
I took the report and dusted for prints, as any normal patrol officer would. I asked about any possible suspects and she gave me the name of a young man, just a kid, that was friends’ with her daughter. After finishing the report, I left. While in my patrol car I looked up the possible suspect and noticed he had a criminal history. Through several databases I located his new address, in Nashville.
The next morning, after court, I drove to the suspect’s house to find him standing outside in the driveway. I can see that he has large bulges in both pockets and was wearing brand new clothes; even had tags hanging off of his jacket. He was also wearing brand new, bright, white shoes.
I was in court clothes and in my patrol car, off duty; but decided to approach the young man and engage in conversation. As I began talking to him I looked down at his jeans and noticed that those bulges was actually large stacks of money. I could actually see the money sticking out. I asked him why he was standing in the driveway and he said he was waiting on a cab to go to the mall. Obviously, he already made one trip!
I convinced him we knew he stole the money from the safe and even encouraged him to come to the precinct for an interview. After notifying precinct detectives, we drove to the precinct. The detectives allowed me to sit in on the interview. During the interview I played the “good cop, bad cop” where at one point I was yelling at him and another point I was sympathetic. When I took the; “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” method, one of the detectives didn’t like my style. The detective pulled me outside and berated me about my technique.
Despite the Detective’s opinion, something worked. We went back into the interview room and he admitted to everything! The woman’s daughter and the young man were friends from school and they planned the theft together. The daughter let him inside the home to steal the money and they planned to split the proceeds. The whole scene was to look like a burglary, when it was an inside job!
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