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TOYS3    6' Detective and the missing toys

"Michaela," shouted her mother from downstairs, "there's someone
here to see you."

When Michaela got down to the front door, she was surprised to
see her neighbor Jimmy. Jimmy was Tommy's older brother. He was
in high school, so Michaela didn't see him much. 

"You wanted to see ME?" asked Michaela.

"Yeah." replied Jimmy, "Somebody stole my Ipod."

Michaela crossed her arms and looked down, but didn't say
anything.

"Look," said Jimmy, "I know you don't like me because I stole
Emily's video games. But I need your help. That Ipod was brand
new. And I paid two hundred bucks for it."

Michaela thought for a moment, then, replied, "Okay. I'll help
you. Where did you last see your Ipod?"

"It was on my desk in my bedroom." replied Jimmy.

Michaela went over to Jimmy's house and examined his room.

"When did you last see the Ipod?" she asked.

"I left it on the desk there before I left for school this
morning." replied Jimmy, "But when I got back home, it was
gone."

Michaela pointed to the open window and asked, "Who opened the
window?"

"Oh!" exclaimed Jimmy, "That window was closed when I left for
school. The robber must have opened it!"

Michaela examined the window carefully asking, "Was this window
locked?"

"Yes." replied Jimmy, "I always lock it when I close it."

"Very interesting!" exclaimed Michaela.

"What do you mean?" asked Jimmy.

Michaela replied, "I can't see any tool marks on the window lock
or on the window frame."

"Tool marks?" asked Jimmy, "What does that mean?"

"I don't know yet." replied Michaela as she went out the door.

"Where are you going?" asked Jimmy as he followed, "Are you
giving up already?"

Michaela went outside and around to the side of the house under
Jimmy's second floor window. Then she knelt down and examined
the grass and the bushes.

"Very interesting," exclaimed Michaela.

"What do you mean?" asked Jimmy.

Michaela replied, "I can't see any marks on the lawn or in the
dirt around the bushes."

"What does that mean?" asked Jimmy.

Michaela explained as she went back into the house, "If the
robber went in through your window, he would have had to use a
ladder. But I couldn't find any marks from a ladder on the
ground and I couldn't find any marks from a tool on the window.
That means that the robber didn't get into your room through the
window."

Jimmy asked, "Then why did he open the window?"

"I think it may have been a diversion." replied Michaela as she
knelt on the floor in front of Jimmy's door and began examining
the door knob with her magnifying glass. "Did you lock this door
before you went to school?"

"Yes," replied Jimmy, "I always lock my door when I leave."

"Very interesting," exclaimed Michaela.

"What do you mean?" asked Jimmy.

Michaela asked, "Were both outside doors locked when you got
home?"

Jimmy thought for a moment, then replied, "Yes. I had to unlock
the back door when I got home and I had to unlock the front door
to go get you. Why?"

Michaela replied, "I can't see any marks on the door knob or the
latch."

"What does that mean?" asked Jimmy.

Michaela examined the door post with her magnifying glass, then
replied, "No marks on here either. That means that the robber
didn't pick the lock and he didn't force the door open either."

"That doesn't make any sense!" replied Jimmy, "If he didn't get
into my room through the window and he didn't get into my room
through the door, how did he get in?"

Michaela asked, "The robber had a key."

"No way!" replied Jimmy, "All door locks are different, how
could the robber's key work in my door?"

Michaela asked, "Are there any other keys besides yours?"

"Yeah," replied Jimmy, "There's a key in the drawer down in the
kitchen.... but there's no way the robber would know that!"

Michaela explained, "He would if he lives here!"

"Wait a minute!" exclaimed Jimmy "You're not saying that...."

Both Jimmy and Michaela said together, "Tommy!"

"But it can't be Tommy!" said Jimmy.

"Why not?" asked Jimmy.

"Why would Tommy open my window if he used a key to get in?"
asked Jimmy.

Michaela explained, "He opened your window to make you think
that the robber came in through the window."

"Oh." replied Jimmy, "I guess it worked too. As soon as I saw
the window was open, I thought sure the robber got in through
the window."

Michaela explained, "It would have been even better if he put
the ladder against the house under your window. But Tommy is to
small and to weak to lift such a big ladder."

"Oh, yeah!" replied Jimmy. "Wait til I get my hands on that
little jerk!"

"I'm home!" shouted Jimmy's mom from downstairs.

"Up here!" shouted Jimmy, "Come on up!"

"What's going on?" asked Jimmy's mom as she walked into the
room, "Are you in trouble again?"

"No!" replied Jimmy, "Tommy is!"

"Why?" asked mom, "What did he do?"

"He stole my brand new Ipod!" exclaimed Jimmy.

"Are you sure?" asked mom.

Michaela nodded, "It had to be someone in the house. Where is
Tommy now?"

Jimmy replied, "Soccer practice. He got home after I did. But he
was home when I left for school this morning."

"Let's have a look in his room." said mom as she left Jimmy's
room and headed for Tommy's room. She and Jimmy looked around
Tommy's room for Jimmy's Ipod.

"I don't see it." said Jimmy, "Maybe we should open his drawers
and pull everything out of his closet."

"That won't be necessary." replied Michaela.

"Why not?" replied Jimmy, "How else are you going to find it?"

Michaela pointed to the air vent high on the wall and replied,
"It's in there."

"How could you possibly know that?" asked Jimmy's mom.

Michaela pointed to Tommy's desk and explained, "There's a screw
driver on that desk and the screws on that air vent have tool
marks on them. Tommy used the screw driver to take off the vent
cover. Then he put the Ipod into the vent and screwed the cover
back on."

Jimmy took the chair from Tommy's desk and stood on it and
looked through the vent.

"There it is!" shouted Jimmy, "My Ipod is in the vent! Just like
Michaela said!"

Jimmy's mom said, "That naughty little boy is in big trouble!"

As Jimmy unscrewed the vent cover, he exclaimed, "Crime doesn't
pay when Michaela is around!"

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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