I put in a couple extra hours at the end of my shift, following up on a tip that a male Sim in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt had been seen at the bayside park in Windenburg.
It went about as well as I expected …
.. and I might have been a little woozy from eating nothing but lemons all day.
But Chief Pike told me to Issue APB so Issue APB I did.
I questioned several of park visitors.
There was a good deal of finger-pointing.
And one case of mistaken identity …
… that nearly led to a Fight interaction.
“But it didn’t lead you nearer to the suspect, I take it,” Clare Bjergsen said, chopping vegetables while I poured some coffee.
My Hunger and Fatigue Meters were both red-lining when I got home, so I invited the Upper Crusts over, thinking I’d let one of them Prepare Meal while I got some caffeine in me.
“No. If someone in a short-sleeved shirt and jeans was there, he stayed two steps ahead of me,” I said. “And, to be honest, I’m kinda glad.”
“Yes. I’d like to have more evidence before I make my first arrest,” I said.
What I didn’t tell Clare was I’d like to have more evidence before I make my only arrest, but I mentioned it to Allison while I was mixing drinks by the hot tub out back.
“The work finally started getting interesting today,” I said, “but I still don’t feel good about it. There’s all the Angry moodlets, Fight interactions and littering that take place only when I’m walking the beat, and I’m starting to think the game is just generating suspects every time I add a new clue to my Crime Map!”
“So Townies are being spawned guilty of a crime that was committed before they were spawned?” Allison asked indignantly.
“I’m not sure, but I check the population each time I add a new clue, and there’s a new Sim added to the population each time,” I said. “We’re up to 206 Sims now.”
“That’s too bad,” Allison said. “Sarafina says there are lots of cool police-themed objects unlocked by advancing up the Detective Career Track.”
“I know; I thought of that,” I said. “Maybe we can just use the buydebug cheat to unlock them?”
“That’s a good idea,” Allison said. “There’s a moratorium on cheating since the SIMposium ended, but that only applies to cheating that benefits a particular household. It might be neat to have a police-themed restaurant or night club in the World.”
“I might want to run that if I’m still here when my turn rolls around,” I said.
“If you’re still here?” Allison said. “You might be leaving?”
“I don’t know. My Fleshy is back blogging again but I haven’t heard from her,” I said. “We’ll see.”
Friday morning, I issued another all-points bulletin which led me to a pub in Windenburg.
Again, there was a good deal of finger-pointing …
… but this time the suspect matching my description was there!
And it was someone whom I would dearly like to arrest.
“I’ve seen that Sim before I said,” I told my informant, Luna Villareal, keeping the table lamp between me and the suspect, “but I don’t know his name.”
“Where have you been?” Luna asked. “He’s only, like, the cutest pre-Made ever.”
“I can see that,” I said. “I need a name.”
“Paolo Rocco,” Luna said.
I stepped outside to think. It was almost too good to be true. The very Sim who beat me up in Willow Brook on my first day walking the beat! The very Sim who I could not cite at the time because of some glitch!
But I still didn’t feel my description was enough to make an arrest, and if I was wrong, it would look like police harassment rather than an honest mistake.
I was considering my next move when someone spoke up behind me.
I turned and saw fellow Upper Crust member Mila Munch standing behind me, with her son Lucas walking up behind her.
“Mila! How can I help you?”
“I was hoping I could help you,” Mila said. “Well, not me, but my boy. He said he saw you looking for a guerilla street artist at the park yesterday, and he said he got a good look at your suspect.”
I stopped Lucas and got his description of the suspect, then went back to the station and entered the fresh lead in the crime database then added the clue to my Crime Map Thingy.
“Red hair,” I muttered, simultaneously disappointed that this new evidence ruled out Paolo as the culprit, while relieved I hadn’t brought him in for questioning.
And I remembered Det. Skelton’s advice and saw I had an opportunity to Deduce Clue.
“What have I overlooked?” I asked myself as I reviewed the Crime Map.
My eye fell on one of the photos of the graffiti I’d taken at Willow Brook Archives.
It was only then that I realized that the mathematical formulae among the squiggles and stick figures was notated in Common Core math, an unnecessarily arcane approach to arithmetic which no one understands but teachers, Teens and Children.
“And since Children can’t commit crimes, and since there is no Education Career track in the game, the culprit must be a Teen!”
Five clues. My confidence level was high. I pulled my cellphone and clicked another Issue APB interaction …
… and was drawn back to Windenburg’s town square. Lucas Munch was waiting for me.
“Lucas, with your help I think I have enough information to make an arrest,” I said. “But I need to be sure. This red-haired male Sim in a short-sleeved shirt and jeans, what age was he?”
“He was a Teen,” Lucas said. “I mean, he is a Teen.”
“I mean, he’s that Teen behind you, reading on the bench, Ramon Amato.”
I froze mid-scribble, then nodded confidently.
“Thank you, Lucas,” I said. “I just need one more thing. Can you tell me where your mother is?”
“She’s right over there,” Lucas said.
“Good. Well, I need you to go stay with your mother while I go talk to Ruben, OK?”
“Aw! But I wanted to watch!” Lucas complained.
“You can watch,” I said. “Just watch from over there.”
Lucas did not exactly scamper off as I approached the suspect, but that was his decision.
I tried to be nonchalant, but fixed my gaze on a point in space somewhere above the bench and strode forward.
Ramon put his book away as my Friendly Introduction interaction commenced.
“What were you reading there?” I asked.
“Does it matter?” he asked.
I grinned as I nodded.
“I’d be surprised if it did.”
He grimaced as I grinned.
“You know why I’m here. Are you ready?”
We stood at the same time, and regarded each other coolly.
So what happened?” my friend Josie Tyler asked later that night, after I told her about my first arrest.
“Nothing!” I said. “I just cuffed him and locked him up ‘til I can question him tomorrow.”
“Really? Just locked him up like that,” Josie said tersely. “I hope you plan to make good on this.”
“I have …” I prevaricated slowly. “… the beginnings … of an outline … of a plan.”
Josie shook her head disapprovingly …
…and stepped inside, saying “Well, your turn ends Sunday morning. I’ll clean up around here while you take care of you Needs meters. You have a big day tomorrow.”
“We all do,” I said.