Truth comes to light
e watch!” short, stole wiry my The fellow wearing an exhibitor’s badge yelled again at the top of his lungs. “I did not!” The burly security guard bellowed back, his face red with rage. Detective Ned Olson looked at police officer Barry Doyle and sighed. They’d been called to the Antiques, Jewelry and Art Show at the elegant New Hampshire Hills Hotel in response to a robbery. Surrounding them in the grand ballroom were dozens of antiques dealers, eager to sell their wares to an elite group of last-minute holiday shoppers. “Now, gentlemen,” Detective Olson said, spreading his arms to separate them. “Shouting won’t help things. I need facts. What have you got, Officer Doyle?” Doyle read from his notes: “Mr. Roy Fry here”—he gestured toward the smaller man—“says that a valuable piece is missing…” “That’s right,” Fry interrupted. “A vintage, 18-karat gold Rolex watch worth $10,000.” He pointed a finger accusingly. “And that lying, no-good crook took it!”
not a crook!” “I Olson am quickly surveyed the room. Booths displaying collectibles, jewelry and antiques were arranged in rows along the main floor and three interior walls. The fourth wall, facing west, had a long bank of windows and double French doors leading outside to a veranda. Olson shot an inquiring look at Doyle, who referred to his note pad. “This is Oliver Kratz, employed by Reliable Security Services. He was assigned to this event two weeks ago.” “When did you discover the theft?” Olson asked Fry. “This morning. I woke up early and came downstairs to grab some breakfast.”
Olson studied him. “What time did you come down?” “Seven a.m. sharp. I thought my items were safe because the ballroom was locked—and they’d hired a security guard and all,” Fry said, glaring at Kratz. “But when I looked in through the ballroom doors, I saw him snooping at my booth.” “You’re “Positive.” sure He it was he nodded. Kratz?” “The sun was just coming up through those French doors, and I saw him swipe my watch and stuff it in his pocket.” “He’s lying!” the guard exclaimed indignantly. Fry ignored him. “I shouted and tried to open the ballroom door, but it was still locked. By the time I found someone with a key, he’d disappeared.” “I didn’t disappear,” Kratz countered. “I was patrolling the other side of the room when Fry and the manager came in and ordered me to empty my pockets.” “All they found was my wallet and keys.” Fry shrugged. “So he hid the watch somewhere.” “That’s not true!” Kratz insisted. “I
didn’t take that watch, Detective. Please—i can’t lose this job,” he beseeched. “See, Detective?” Fry counted off on his fingers: “One, motive: He needs the money; two, opportunity: He was alone in the room; and three, there’s a witness: me. What more do you need? I demand you arrest this man!” “I don’t think we’ll be doing that, Mr. Fry,” Olson calmly responded. “In fact, I don’t even think a crime has been committed here. In fact, I believe you are making the whole theft up to detract attention from you.” Doyle’s head swiveled toward the detective in surprise as Fry blustered. “This is outrageous. I’m a taxpaying citizen—” “—Who probably has a hefty insurance policy on that watch, right?” Olson finished. Fry’s face turned beet red under “Let the me detective’s give you some gaze. advice, Mr. Fry,” Olson continued. “Insurance fraud is a crime with a stiff punishment. You might want to come clean before we investigate further.”
Q: What tipped off Detective Olson?