Bates files: The cellphone mystery
Mobile snatching is not a one-man job, trust me,” the famous detective Alfred Bates tells his friend, Inspector Davis. “There is always more than one person involved.”
“How can you be so sure?” Davis questions his friend.
“The person who usually snatches the mobile is not necessarily the same person who checks out for potential candidates,” Bates explains to the Inspector.
“Bates, it seems your mobile has been snatched as well by these thieves,” Inspector Davis tries to deliver a funny comment.
“No,” Bates replies. “I haven’t had the privilege of granting them an audience but trust me, I would be ready when I do.”
“Then how do you know so much about them?” Davis puts down another question. “And how would we solve the current case with all this knowledge?”
“You mean the case involving Mr Abraham and his lost mobile…” Bates remembers the case. “Wasn’t he robbed of his cellphone right outside the cinema two days back?”
“Yes he was,” Davis replies. “He is a friend of the mayor who has been demanding an answer.”
“You can tell him that we will have the culprits behind bars by midnight,” Bates tells his friend.
“Midnight?” a stunned Davis asks Bates. “And where do you think they will strike?”
“Outside the cinema,” Bates delivers the place as well.
“But isn’t it true that thieves always strike at different places?” Davis says as he challenges his friend’s statement.
“It might be true for some but the ones we are looking for, strike in different shifts, but at the same place,” Bates says as he puts forth his theory. “People who go to cheap cinemas don’t usually carry expensive cellphones. Therefore, I am sure that these thieves only strike at the one Cineplex we have in the neighbourhood.”
“Agreed,” Davis says. “What else?”
“They deprived Mr Abraham of his cellphone on the night of Sunday after the evening show ended. True?” Bates puts down his question.
“Yes,” Davis nods.
“And before that, they snatched the cellphone of an old lady in the evening, after the matinee show ended on Friday, right?”
Bates asks again.
“How could you possibly know that?” Davis asks.
“Research my friend,” Bates explains as he points his finger at his forehead. “I always keep my eyes open for bizarre news that no one seems to notice.”
“So you think they will strike at midnight,” Davis says as he tries to wrap up the discussion.
“I know they will,” Bates corrects his friend. “Thieves always follow a pattern that’s successful. These two take a full day to dispose off the cellphone they have snatched, and return after one full day for a potential candidate. One searches for the candidate, the other deprives him/her off her cellphone.”
“How do you know they don’t hunt in pairs?” Davis questions his friend’s logic.
“They can’t afford to because if they do, they will attract suspicion,” Bates explains.
“One of the persons must be outside with a weapon to scare the people, and snatch the mobiles,” Davis says after pondering over the issue. “What about the other one?”
“You will find him near the walk through gate of the Cineplex,” Bates says as he points out the exact location.”
“Why the walk through gate?” asks Davis. “Why would he not be in the waiting area?”
“The walk through is the nearest place where one of the thief can get a good look at the potential candidate, since everyone puts out their cellphone so they can walk through without attracting attention,” Bates completes his explanation.
“How did you figure that out?” Davis says, refusing to believe Bates’ intelligence.
“Simple,” says Bates with a glint in his eyes. “Since all the persons robbed were specifically targeted, I deduced that they might have prior knowledge linking the candidate to expensive mobiles.”
“That’s very impressive,” Davis says as he stands up to leave for the Cineplex. “I will make sure that when we catch the thieves, your name is mentioned to the mayor for your involvement in the case.”
“Actually, he knows of my involvement since he called me to help you with the investigation,” Bates discloses to his friend.
“Bates, has anyone told you that you are unbelievable!” Davis comments as he picks up his coat from the stand.
“Yes I know,” Bates confesses. “There are times when I even amaze myself!”