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I put out an APB the next morning and got word from some patrol officers that someone matching the description of the younger female suspect was spotted in the neighbourhood of Bedrock Strait. I spoke with a well-known snitch by the name of DeWayne Marroquin. He was a police informant for years now and had somehow managed to remain below the radar when it came to his criminal associates in spite of being a snitch.

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“She’s got on a grey top with flowers on it. And huge boobs… like all out there! And that fiery red hair…”

“Ok, ok. I get the picture. Do you know who she is?” I asked.

“I think her name is Amy…no Aileen. Yeah that’s it. I see her around here a lot. She also likes to play chess down by Desert Bloom Park so if you don’t find her here then she’s gotta be over there.”

Finally he gave me information I could use on the suspect. He spent so much time talking about her appearance but I already had a detailed description of her from the witnesses at the crime scene. At least he gave me her name. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a woman with cherry-red hair and big boobs named Aileen now.

“Excuse me officer!” A woman in a grey jumpsuit stomped towards me. “I need to make a complaint. This man…” she pointed to DeWayne, “…insulted and threatened us. We want to file a report.”

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Her friend in the patterned dress stood behind her seething. “Sorry ma’am but you and your friend will have to go to the station to make a report. If you want I can get another officer here to take you both down to the station because right now I’m on patrol and…”

“That’s all! You’re not going to arrest him!” yelled the woman in the dress.

“Listen you dumb bimbo!” the grey jumpsuit woman screamed at me. “I demand you do something!”

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“You need to watch how you talk to an officer of the law ma’am!” I screamed back. It probably wasn’t the best way to deal with it but how dare she talk to me that way!

While I was arguing with the woman in grey I noticed a cloud of dust kicking up from behind us and realised that the woman in the dress and DeWayne were fighting!

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“Hey you two break it up NOW!” I yelled and they did. DeWayne won the fight as he got in the last blow.

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“He attacked me!” the woman in the dress cried. “You saw that right?”

“No way! She attacked me! I was defending myself!” DeWayne yelled. I didn’t see how the fight started but DeWayne didn’t exactly have a stellar reputation. He got in trouble with the law before for street fighting so it made sense that he was guilty.

“Listen here!” I shouted at him sternly. “I’m writing you up for this!”

“What the hell lady?! It’s not my fault. And I just helped you out…”

“Doesn’t matter. You broke the law. You know fighting on the street is illegal. I have to give you a ticket and from what I understand this is your second one. One more and you’re going to be thrown in jail! Understand?”

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Unfortunately fighting on the street with someone regardless of gender is just a misdemeanour. You get a ticket and a stern warning and only if you receive three tickets in total then you get arrested, spend the night in jail and pay a fine of 2000 simoleons before you get released. I know that sucks but unfortunately our laws are very dated. But perhaps it’s made that way for a reason. Violent crimes and assaults occur less than 3% of all crimes in Oasis Springs so perhaps the law makers feel like there’s not much need to have stricter sentences for such offences.

After DeWayne got his ticket the women left before I could get any information from them such as their names or relation to DeWayne. He refused to talk to me any further because I gave him a ticket so I could not find out from him who they were either. And because of that whole dispute I missed out on my chance to find the red-haired suspect. I questioned other people from the neighbourhood and they all said they saw her driving away in a cab around the time while I was breaking up the fight between DeWayne and the woman. Thankfully DeWayne had already given me all the information I needed to figure out where she would be next.

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“Aileen Webb?”

“Oh hello officer,” she chirped calmly, “Is there a problem?”

“You know there is. I have a warrant for your arrest. We have eye-witness testimony linking you to vandalising the library.”

“Aw crap! I’m ain’t telling you nuttin! You hear me? I want a lawyer!”

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“You’ll get your chance to call one after we book you down at the station. Now get up slimeball!”

When I took her down to the station she remained true to her word. She absolutely refused to allow me to interrogate her without her lawyer present who then advised her to remain quiet as we only had circumstantial evidence linking her to the crime. Sure, witnesses saw someone matching her description at the scene and from what DeWayne told me she’s a well-known thief and fraudster but she didn’t have a record and her fingerprints didn’t match either of the prints we found. We had to cut her loose but I was sure she was one of the culprits.

I thought Clay, I mean, Chief Bouchard would be angry that I made an arrest before having enough evidence. Instead he called me into his office and we discussed the case further. “Sloane you did a good job bagging Aileen Webb. I believe your hunch that she’s guilty. She matches the eye-witnesses description and everything.”

“But her prints didn’t match the ones we found on the discarded spray cans, sir.”

“That’s a technicality. I mean, they had to buy the spray cans from somewhere right? Perhaps the second print was from a store clerk. Maybe Aileen was smart enough to wear gloves and the other perp wasn’t.”

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“You’re on to something.” I agreed. “The other person is a career criminal who got sloppy. This person is most likely Webb’s mentor. Webb must be a skilled fraudster and thief in order to not get caught all this while – she had to have learned it from somewhere. I think I should go back to Bedrock Strait. I have a hunch the person we’re looking for lives in that neighbourhood and that’s why Webb was hanging around there the day I put out the APB. If we nab this woman, then we can finally nail Webb.”

“Good deduction Sloane. You’re doing a good job. I like your dedication and passion. Not a lot of new officers hit the ground running the way you have. I’m really impressed by you.”

I blushed a little at his compliment. I know it’s so wrong to have a crush on your boss but he’s just so cute and so sweet. I had to tell myself many times to not flirt with him or do anything inappropriate. As much as I like Clay, I like my job more.

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I met Detective Stearns while I was in the cafeteria eating a very unhealthy late breakfast of chocolate pastries. We started discussing the library case and he gave me some interesting information.

“If you’re looking for an elderly woman dressed provocatively then Lynn ‘Ma’ Mayfield is your girl.”

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“Why would you think of her?” I asked.

“It’s just a hunch. She doesn’t have a criminal record but she’s known around that area because of her reputation. She’s a regular at the Rattlesnake. She goes there every night and buys a round of drinks for everyone. She makes the bartenders uncomfortable when she hits on them.” Stearns started laughing hard and then composed himself. “They say she used to be a call girl back in the day and now we think she works as a madam. We get a lot of complaints coming from her neighbours about men coming and going at all hours and she has a lot of female roommates but she always smells the rat and knows just when we’re planning a raid. Aileen Webb could be one of her girls, maybe even her accomplice.”

I did some digging into Ma Mayfield’s background. Stearns was right about her lack of a criminal record but there were a lot of complaints her neighbours made against her in more recent years. One of them from last month claimed that there was a loud party that ran into the early hours of the morning and when the complainant asked them to turn the volume down ‘a red-haired, large chested’ woman threw a drink in his face and cursed at him before Ma stepped in and ordered him to go home. The description sounded like Aileen and this was the proof that linked the two of them.

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Other information I found was that Ma Mayfield used to live in Willow Creek 16 years ago. There used to be a lot of robberies there at that time but it stopped entirely after the day Lynn decided to move to Oasis Springs. All I needed now was her fingerprints to prove that she not only robbed the Spencer-Kim mansion all those years ago but that she was one of the vandals at the library. Once I get her for the library it’ll only be a matter of time before she drops the dime on Webb. But how do I get her fingerprints?

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After staring at the case board for an hour looking at all the forensics, the crime scene photos, the statements from the witnesses and all the notes I made on different theories I finally figured out how to bust her.

The next evening I confidently walked into the Rattlesnake bar and headed to her table where I knew she would be waiting for a drink from the bartender. “Lynn Mayfield? May I call you Ma Mayfield?” I asked as I sat down on the vacant chair opposite hers. “How are you this evening?”

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“What do you want officer?” she asked and I could tell she was trying to play it cool.

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“Oh I only want to arrest you for vandalism and grand larceny and take you down to the station where you’ll be thrown in jail for the rest of your life.” I taunted her. She didn’t resist but there was a cold expression on her face so I knew it would be hard to break her once I got her into the interrogation room.

The Chief put Detective Chance to supervise since it was my first interrogation. I hoped he would be up for playing good cop because I was certainly the bad cop!

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“You know dressing the way you do won’t keep you young Ma. Your senility is showing and it just got you busted!”

“Screw you! I’m not talking!” she yelled.

“Sure about that? You might want to start talking especially since we have cold hard evidence linking you to the vandalism and the robbery in Willow Creek 16 years ago.”

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“What evidence?”

“Your fingerprints on the spray cans match with the prints you left at the Spencer-Kim mansion. You’re not as beloved at the Rattlesnake as you like to think you are. The bartenders were more than willing to save your used glasses and turn them into us after you left the other night. They’re just as sick of you as I am right now.” I said coldly.

She appeared shocked by what I was telling her. I spread out the evidence I had in front of her including a picture of Aileen Webb. She tried not to stare at Aileen’s picture to indicate that she knew her but I saw the flash of guilt and fear on her face before she tried to hide it.

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“The vandalism would just get you a few months in jail and hefty fine but grand larceny? We’re talking 10 years in the slammer. An old broad like you won’t be treated nicely in prison. I mean if you were younger, maybe, but at your age you don’t have anything your cell mates would be interested in – if you know what I mean.”

I could see the beads of sweat on her forehead and her legs and hands became fidgety. I knew I was close to breaking her. I decided to play good cop for a little bit to see if that tactic would get her to confess. “If you give up your accomplice I could talk to the DA and he can reduce your sentence by 5 years if you cooperate. Makes no sense for you to serve a lengthy jail sentence to save some other woman 5 months in prison. If I were you, I wouldn’t hesitate.”

She got very quiet like she was seriously considering my offer so I decided to go for it and I fully unleashed my meanness on her with threats. “You think this is a game? It’s not. These cuffs are going on your wrists whether you cooperate or not!”

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“Wait… I…” she stammered.

“Forget it. I’m wasting my time being nice to scum like you! The way you look, you don’t have much long to live anyway you old thieving bat! If you want to spend the rest of your days in jail then so be it. Chance, let’s lock her up in the cell!”

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“Wait, wait. Alright I’ll tell you what you want to know.” She cried. “I’ll give up Aileen.”

“Not only that. You’ll have to tell me why you vandalised the library. What was the motive?”

“You gotta ask Aileen. I was only doing her a favour. I didn’t ask questions, I just helped her… please I don’t know anything else. It was all her idea and I just wanted to help…please!” she begged and I believed she was telling the truth. Ma Mayfield didn’t want to spend 10 years in prison so if she had more information to divulge that would get her a reduced sentence then she would’ve given it up. Chance left to get her confession typed up for her to sign.

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“I hope you’re not playing with me.” I said to her sternly. “Cause if you are then your deal with DA goes out the window!”

“I’m not I swear. Aileen used to live at my house but since you pigs started looking for her she’s hiding out at a friend’s house in Agave Abode.”

After Ma Mayfield signed her confession and we processed her at the booking station I took her down to her cell where she would reside until her court appearance.

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Aileen was just where Ma said she would be. She didn’t resist arrest but she was pissed off that Ma blabbed on her. She later confessed to her crime but didn’t want to elaborate on her motives. The only thing she did say was “That pompous mayor’s wife deserved it. She thinks she can insult me and get away with it? Well I hit her where it hurt the most! Her precious library!”

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Detective Chance and the Chief thought her explanation was sufficient but I was unsure. To me this whole thing seemed a little more calculating and I had a gut feeling that there was much more to this case than expected. Nevertheless, the case was considered closed. Clay called me into his office to congratulate me on closing my first case and to announce that because of my good work I was promoted to Detective!

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