NECKLACG 9' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

Michaela dialed the phone.

"Museum of Art." said the female voice on the other end.

"May I speak to the owner, please?" asked Michaela.

"One moment please." she replied.

"This is Mr Brubaker," said the owner.

"This is Michaela."

"You again!" he exclaimed.

"Please check the necklace again for me." begged Michaela, "I'm
sure it's been stolen."

"I'm standing here in the main showroom." explained the owner,
"I'm looking right at the necklace! It's right here! Why do you
keep calling?!"

"Lucifer Snidely has never gone for more than two weeks without
stealing the necklace." explained Michaela, "And it's been
months since his last robbery. So, I think he already has the

"I'm telling you, I'm looking at the necklace right now!"
exclaimed the owner.

"I think Lucifer Snidely had a necklace made that looks just
like the real one. I think he stole yours and left the fake
necklace behind. Can you please check for me?" asked Michaela.

"No!" exclaimed the owner.

"Why not?" asked Michaela.

"Because, in order to inspect the necklace I would have to take
off the protective cover." replied the owner, "And in order to
take off the protective cover, I would have to tell all my
customers to leave. And I'm not going to do that! Now leave me
alone and quit calling here!"

"Don't say I didn't warn you." said Michaela.

So, she quit calling the museum.

One day a few weeks later, Michaela was sitting in her classroom
when a man in a police uniform walked in the door. She knew why
he was there, so she packed up her books and things into her

Her teacher said, "Michaela, you need to go with this

"I know." replied Michaela as she hurried out the door with the

When they got into the police car, Michaela said to the
policeman, "Don't tell me. Let me guess. Lucifer Snidely hired
someone to steal the world's most expensive necklace again."

"Yes," replied the policeman, "But this time we have no idea how
they did it or even WHEN they did it, because...

Michaela interrupted, "...They switched the real necklace for a
fake necklace weeks ago."

"How did you know?!" asked the policeman.

Michaela explained, "I warned the museum owner that Lucifer
Snidely never goes more than a week or two without stealing the
necklace. And it's been months since the last robbery. I'm sure
that the robbers stole the necklace just a week or two after the
last robbery. But the owner didn't want to open the protective
display to inspect the necklace. So, how did he discover that it
was a fake?"

"He opened the display to have the necklace cleaned and
polished." explained the policeman, "The jeweler who cleaned the
necklace discovered the fake. But if what you say is true and
the necklace was stolen months ago, it could be anywhere in the
world by now."

"I don't think so." replied Michaela, "Lucifer Snidely is
obsessed with that necklace. He wants it to be near the prison
so he can get to it as soon as he gets out. He may have even had
it smuggled into the prison so he could hold it in his hands."

"Well, Snidely has hidden the necklace INSIDE the museum before,
so I think we should start there." said the policeman, "I think
we should check the recordings of the television cameras."

They played the television tapes from the day before the fake
necklace was discovered, but didn't find anything unusual on the

"Let's try the day before." suggested the policeman.

"We could be looking at the tapes for weeks before we find
something!" exclaimed Michaela, "We need to try something else!"

"Like what?" he asked.

Michaela explained, "If the robbers opened the display case, the
alarms would have gone off. Right?"

"Right." he replied, "but I checked. The alarms have never gone
off since the last robbery."

"So?" asked Michaela

"So, how did the robbers open the display case without setting
off the alarms?" asked the policeman.

"What if the robbers stole the necklace during a power failure?"
asked Michaela.

The policeman asked the owner if there was ever any power
failures during the last few months.

"Well, yes, now that you mention it." the owner replied, "Just a
couple of weeks after the last robbery, the lights went off
right in the middle of the day.... but just for a minute or two.
Then the lights came right back on again."

Michaela said, "Let's look at the television tapes from that

They played the tapes from that day, starting a few minutes
before the lights went out.

"There!" exclaimed Michaela pointing at the screen.

"That's the janitor." replied the owner. "What about him?"

Michaela asked, "Does he usually empty the trash in the middle
of the day?"

"No," replied the owner. "The trash cans are only emptied after
the museum closes."

On the screen, the janitor is pushing a trash dumpster in front
of the display. Two customers had to step back away from the
display to let him pass.

The owner pointed and exclaimed, "Look how rude he is to those

Just then, the television screen turned black.

The policeman exclaimed, "You know, Michaela, I think you're
right! That janitor was right next to the display when the
lights went out. If he stole the necklace, he probably carried
it out of the building inside of that trash dumpster!"

A few seconds later, the television picture was back on again.
The picture showed the janitor pushing the dumpster out the door
directly under the camera.

"Wait a minute!" exclaimed the owner, "That's not the janitor!
He doesn't even work in the museum!"

The policeman compared the television picture with pictures of
robbers in the police station. They found the robber and
arrested him.

"Now, the only thing we have to do is find the necklace." said
the policeman, "Where should we start looking?"

Michaela replied, "I'll bet it's in the prison where Lucifer
Snidely can see it and touch it."

"The prison is a big building." replied the policeman, "Where
will we start looking? Maybe his cell?"

"No," replied Michaela, "That's the first place Lucifer Snidely
would expect you to look. I'll bet that a day or two after the
robbery, Lucifer Snidely volunteered to work somewhere else in
the prison. That's where he'll hide the necklace."

Sure enough, two days after the robbery, Lucifer Snidely
volunteered to work in the prison laundry washing and drying bed

The policeman went to the prison laundry. But because children
are not allowed into that part of the prison, the policeman went
in alone carrying a video camera so that Michaela could watch on
television and help in the search.

The policeman moved the camera slowly all around the room.

"Any idea where he might have hidden it?" he asked.

"Remember," Michaela replied, "We're not looking for a vault.
We're looking for a metal box with ten push buttons on it. It
will look like it's part of the laundry. THERE!" she shouted.

Next to the oversized clothes dryers was a steel box that was
painted the same color as the other steel boxes hanging on the
wall. The only thing that made it different was the ten-key pad,
like a telephone.

"That looks like it could be the vault." replied the policeman,
"Now how do we open it?"

Michaela replied, "The combination is around there somewhere.
Keep moving the camera. We'll find it."

After about five minutes of looking, they couldn't see any

"Try opening the lint filters on the dryers." suggested

The policeman had no idea what she was talking about. So, he
asked a prison guard to open the lint filters on all the clothes
dryers. Then the policeman pointed the camera inside each one.

"There!" shouted Michaela.

The policeman replied, "That's just an information sticker.
There aren't any numbers on it."

"It's a bar graph." explained Michaela, "And bar graphs are
pictures of numbers."

"I don't get it." replied the policeman.

(here's what the graph looked like.)










(can you figure out the combination to the vault from this

Michaela opened her backpack and pulled out a ruler to measure
the shortest bar, the third bar on the graph. Then she measured
the fifth bar.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela, "I was right!"

"Explain it to me." said the policeman.

Michaela explained, "The third bar in the graph is exactly half
as long as this fifth bar."

(can you figure out the combination to the vault now?)

Michaela measured the length of all the bars and wrote them down
on the bar graph:

3 ___

8 ________

1 _

4 ____

2 __

9 _________

5 _____

6 ______


7 _______

The policeman exclaimed, "Oh, I get it! The combination is the
length of each bar in the bar graph."

He took the graph and pushed the buttons on the vault in this

3 8 1 4 2 9 5 6 0 7

(did you have the same combination?)

There was a click and a buzz and a hum. Then the vault door
opened by itself. There was the world's most expensive necklace!

Thanks to Michaela, the world's greatest detective, the robber
was caught and the necklace was recovered again!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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