Saturday, June 27, 2015

Walt Murphy – PI – 24

One look at Chelsea's face when I walked into the waiting area and I knew something was wrong. So I asked.

"You phone's off," she stated. "If it hadn't been I could have let you know we had visitors last night."

Taking a quick glance around, I didn't see anything wrong where we were standing, so I went into my office. Yeah, we'd had visitors. At least they were neat—sort of. No papers from my files tossed around, no desk drawers emptied on the floor. But they'd left everything open and it was obvious they'd done a fairly thorough search for—what? The necklace? Maybe. Something else? Maybe.

Chelsea stood in the doorway, arms akimbo. "Was your desk searched?" I asked. "And was the security armed when you came in?"

"Yes on both. And the door was locked. If it hadn't been I'd have called building security or the cops, since I couldn't get hold of you."

I took out my phone and turned it on. The battery was low because I hadn't charged it for over twenty-four hours. Once again, as I had many times before, I made a mental note to buy a charger to keep at Ricky's place. Maybe this time I'd actually remember to do it.

Next I went into the storage room. There was no way whoever did this would know the safe was in there, but I'm not stupid enough to think they couldn't have found it if they were experts at searching. Experts—not the goons. I think, and I'm fairly certain I'm right, that the goons are just that. Caiazzo's hatchet-men. Paid to deal with any problems that crop up with fists and guns.

There's a set of shelves along one wall, loaded with office supplies and banker's boxes filled with out-of-date files that I kept for tax purposes. A quick check showed me the boxes had been rifled through. I was surprised they hadn't left the tops off to show they'd been there. I figured that's why they'd left my office the way they had. To let me know they—Caiazzo's people I was real sure—had paid me a visit.

I took two boxes off one shelf. The area behind them appeared to be just like the rest of the wall unless you knew the trick to open it. If you did figure out there was a movable panel there, you'd have to take a prybar to it to open it unless you had my phone. There were no pry marks. Taking my phone out again, I punched in a number and a moment later a panel slid to one side, revealing the safe. I opened it because I needed a gun until I was able to retrieve the weapons that Officer Parker had confiscated last night.

After closing everything again, I went back to my office. Chelsea was straightening up. She turned to look at me, muttering, "At least they left things in the drawers." Then she apparently took a closer look, because her next words were, "You look like hell."

"Thanks," I replied with a bit of a smile. "Not the nicest thing you've ever said to me but…"

"What happened to you? Sit down before you fall down."

"I'm not in that bad of shape," I protested. Yeah, I still wasn't one-hundred percent but I didn't think I was going to fall on my face any time soon.

Obviously she thought differently because she pointed to my desk chair. "Sit." When I did, she asked what had happened so I told her, ending with, "Our nocturnal visitors probably came here after I was taken to the hospital."

"You're going to change the security codes, I hope," she said with some asperity.

"Yeah. Not that it'll stop them if they decide to come back. It didn't last night."

That was no real surprise. If Caiazzo did run a theft ring, then the people working for him would be experts at B&E. Not however expert enough to find the safe. Of course if they had, they wouldn't have found the necklace. That thought brought up another one. If they were looking for the necklace, why go through my files? The desk was somewhat obvious, if they figured I was stupid enough to stash it there. I guess the same held true for the files. 

Between us, we finished putting things back in order. Then, on the off chance they'd planted bugs while they were here I ran a check. Nothing. I'm not sure if that made me feel better that they hadn't, or hurt that they didn't think I was worth their doing so.

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