Two Minute Mysteries
The Case of The Stolen Ice Skates
I’ll never forget the day my skates were stolen. It all started on a cold day in November, about two weeks before my first competition.
It was very cold outside, but in the lobby of Conway Arena, it was quite warm. I had just finished my lesson and taken off my brand-new ice skates. They were very comfortable and supportive with stainless steel blades. I went to the snack bar to get some hot cocoa. But just as I was handing the lady $2 for the cocoa, the lights went out. Then as I turned around to find the switch, I heard the door, then footsteps. Then I heard a zipper, more quick footsteps, and the tiny creaking sound the doors always made when they opened followed by the small thud from the door closing. I ran carefully, as not to run into anyone or anything, to the faint light, which was the door. As I looked outside, I saw a red punch buggy, with license plate numbers 7?625??. Then as I turned to find the lights, they went back on. I looked by the front desk to see who was there, and I saw Sophie, who was competing against me in two weeks. Apparently, she had reached over the crates to do it. Fifteen other people were there. Mom, Brett, the lady at the snack bar, Stephanie, the skate shop guy, Mia and her parents, Katie and her mom, the person at the front desk, the zamboni guy, and 3 instructors. Then as I looked over at my mom, I realized my skate bag was opened and my skates were missing!
“My skates!” I shouted. “My skates are missing!” I stood frozen, immobilized. “Did anyone leave?” I said quickly.
Everyone looked around and a few people shrugged. Then the lady at the desk said, “Nobody left. I always keep track so I know who came with who.”
“That means,” I said slowly. “That means some body here helped the thief.”
That night, my mom called the police. The officer asked us questions like, “Who was there?” and “When did it happen?”
For the rest of the week, all I could think about was my skates and who stole them. I was obsessed with finding out who stole my beautiful new skates. I was afraid I wouldn’t get them back in time for the competition.
When Friday finally came, I was eager to get to the rink. When I finally got there, I was happy to see the red punch buggy.
When I got in, the lady at the desk said, “Taylor, you can rent skates for free any day you need to. Even in public skating time.”
I thanked her miserably and sat down with the stiff rental skates. My lesson went normally, except for the fact I was using rental skates that gave everyone blisters.
After my lesson, I limped back to the tables were and sat down gratefully. I carefully took off my skates and winced horribly. After a while, we went back to the car. As I was walking by, I saw Sophie climb into the red punch buggy with some friends who skated there too. Then my stomach churned as I noticed the license plate number: 7962531. Then I saw two cars blocking the exits and an officer walking towards us.
“Hello.” He said in a voice I recognized as the officer who questioned us the night my skates were stolen. “Are you two Taylor and Lynne Reichle?”
“Yes.” We answered together.
Then he put a mega phone up to his mouth and said loudly “I would like everyone to go inside for questioning.”
When everyone was inside, he said “I would like all employees to come over here and every one else to stand back.”
Everyone who worked there came forward. “If you weren’t here Friday when this girl’s skates were stolen you may go. Otherwise, stay here.” a couple people left and went on the ice.
First he asked for names. The people were Candice who worked at the snack bar, Dave who worked at the skate shop, Paul who ran the zamboni, and Kingsford, Lisa, and Jamie who were instructors. There was nothing suspicious about any of them. After half an hour, he said “thank you for your time. You are all free to go. I would now like everyone else to come over here. If you weren’t here Friday when this girl’s skates were stolen you may go. Otherwise, stay here.” A few more people left. Again he started with names. There was Mia and her parents, Katie and her mom, and Sophie with her mom. After half an hour, his notes were as follows:
· Not an employee
· Not Mia or Katie
· Sophie was near lights
· Sophie’s mom not at scene
· Sophie was picked up by mom half an hour later
About half an hour later, the officer said, “Taylor, I know who stole your skates! Sophie, you and your mom need to come with me.”
How did the officer know Sophie and her mom did it?