NECKLAC4 8' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

Michaela, the world's greatest detective was watching the news
on TV. The reporter was standing in front of a bank building
with a big hole in the wall.

"The robbers came in the middle of the night and stole the
entire ATM from this bank." said the reporter, "This left a hole
in the side of the bank building that was big enough for a
person to walk through. But there was no evidence that the
robbers stole anything from inside the bank or that they even
went into the bank."

"The police thought that the robbery was most unusual. First of
all, the ATM is filled with money first thing every morning. By
the time it was stolen late last night, there was almost no
money left in the ATM."

"Second, the ATM is built into the bank almost as securely as
the bank vault itself. To remove it, the robber would have to
buy or rent a huge machine to destroy the building all around
the ATM. That means that the robbers would spend more money on
the machine than they would steal from the ATM."

Michaela told her dad, "I think the robbers will probably steal
another ATM tomorrow."

And they did. Three more ATM's in three days! The police
reported that the marks left by the machine on the buildings and
the tire marks on the sidewalks were the same for all four

"The same robbers stole all four ATM's." the policeman said.

Then, as suddenly as the bank robberies started, they stopped.

A week later on the news the police reported the theft of the
world's most expensive necklace.

Michaela immediately said, "I know who stole the necklace!"

"You do?" asked her dad.

Just then, the door bell rang.

"I'll get it!" said Michaela on her way to the door, "It's the
woman whose necklace was stolen."

"How do you know?!" asked her Dad.

Sure enough, at the door was the old lady who owned the world's
most expensive necklace.

"I've been expecting you." Michaela said.

"You have?" asked the old lady.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "and I know who stole your necklace."

"You do?" asked both the old lady and Michaela's dad.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "The man who owns the museum stole it."

"How could you possibly know that?" asked her dad.

"Because he was the one who stole it last time." replied

"It wasn't my fault this time!" cried the old lady, "I did what
you said. I put the necklace in the bank vault just like you

Michaela pointed to the television. There was a policeman
standing in front of the bank where the necklace was stolen.
"That's your bank, right?" asked Michaela.

"Why, yes, it is." replied the old lady.

"The same guy stole your necklace as stole those four ATM's"
said Michaela.

"How could you possibly know that?" asked her dad.

Michaela pointed at the television again and said, "Look!"

The TV camera turned toward the bank. There was a huge hole in
the side of the bank.

Michaela explained, "The same machine that was used to steal the
ATM's was used to make that big hole in the side of the bank."

The policeman on TV said that there was a similar hole in the
side of the vault inside the bank. The only thing stolen from
the vault was the necklace.

The old lady begged, "Will you please get my necklace back for

"Of course!" replied Michaela.

"But where will you find it? That man sold the museum." said the
old lady.

"The robber used a heavy machine to break the building,"
Michaela replied, "So, that's where we'll start looking."

Michaela began her investigation by looking in the phone book
for companies that sell heavy machinery. She called them all and
asked them if they had a machine big and powerful enough to pull
an ATM out of a bank wall. Only one of them said yes.

"Have you sold such a machine lately?" ask Michaela.

"Yes," replied the manager, "but I thought it was a little odd."

"What do you mean?" asked Michaela.

"The man who bought the machine owns a bank. What does a banker
need such a big machine for?" he replied.

"That sounds like the man I'm looking for." said Michaela.

She asked the manager for the name and address of the customer.

Michaela was right! It was the man who used to own the museum.
The address where the machine was delivered was a bank. Michaela
went to the bank but the machine was in the parking lot. So, she
went into the bank and asked about the man who bought the

The bank teller replied, "Oh, he's the new owner of the bank!"

Michaela immediately went to the police and told them what she

"Good work, Michaela!" they said.

They immediately got a search warrant and went with Michaela to
the bank. They arrested the owner for bank robbery.

"Where's the necklace?" they asked.

He sneered. "It's in my bank vault and you'll never ever get it!

Later, the police found out why the owner was so sure they
wouldn't be able to get the necklace back. The vault was locked
using all four stolen ATM's. They were welded to the big steel
vault door and wouldn't open unless the right four ATM cards
were inserted into the slots of the right four ATM's.

"What will we do now?" asked the policeman?

"Find four ATM cards" replied Michaela as she went into the
owner's office and began looking around.

The police helped Michaela search every drawer and cabinet in
the office, but they didn't find any ATM cards. So, Michaela
pulled out all the drawers and turned them over. Finally, on the
bottom of the bottom drawer of the desk...

"I found them!" shouted Michaela.

She found four ATM cards fastened with tape. She removed the
tape and examined the cards. All the cards were blank except for
one letter each: N, P, E, O.

Michaela took the cards into the vault room and looked at the
ATM's, thinking that there might be an N, P, E, and O printed on
the ATMs too. But there were no letters on the ATMs. So,
Michaela thought she might just try each card in every ATM until
the vault opened.

But, Michaela was the world's greatest detective. She knew that
the vault might be booby-trapped. She looked down at the floor
in front of the vault door. The floor in front of the door had
been cut out and a steel door had been installed. As with
previous vaults Michaela worked with, if she made a mistake
opening the vault, the door in the floor would collapse, sending
Michaela down a chute into the river.

So, she decided to look around the vault room for a clue. There
was no writing anywhere. So, she examine the ATM cards again.

"N, P, O, E.  N, P, O, E." Michaela repeated the letters over
and over. Then she got an idea.

"What if we rearrange the cards?!" she said.

"How about P, N, O, E?" asked the policeman.

"I'll bet it's a word!" said Michaela.

And she rearranged the cards in her hand until they spelled out
words. She came up with two words. "N O P E" and "O P E N".

"Which word do you think will open the vault?" asked the

"O P E N!" shouted Michaela as she slid the "O" card into the
first ATM. She looked down nervously to see if the floor would
collapse. Nothing. Next she slid the "P" card into the second
ATM. Nothing. Next she slid the "E" card into the third ATM.
Nothing. Finally, she slid the "N" card into the last ATM.

Click, buzz, hum. The big vault door swung open. There on a
black velvet display was the world's most expensive necklace!
And everyone, except the bank owner lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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