Two-Minute Mystery – The Case of the Stolen Sunglasses

“I can’t believe it,” Mr. Palmer said. “Butch McKenzie stole a pair of sunglasses from right under my nose and I couldn’t even figure out how he did it.”

Detective Jenkins pulled out a notepad and pen. “Mr. Palmer, tell me what happened?”

“I was behind the register when Butch entered the store. He walked over to the rack with the sunglasses and tried on three different pairs before putting each one back. Then he put on a fourth pair, walked toward me, and gave a crooked smile as he headed to the slushy machine. I know that smile of his. It means he’s up to no good.”

Jenkins nodded in agreement and jotted some notes. “What happened next?” 

“A customer came up to the counter and I rang up their order. As the customer left the store, Butch walked over and put his slushy on the counter. He wasn’t wearing them any longer, so I glanced at the rack and the sunglasses weren’t there either. I knew he took them, so I asked him to empty his pockets which he did. All he had was enough change to buy the drink.”

“Are you sure he hadn’t put them back?”

Mr. Palmer sighed. “I walked over to make sure.”

“Okay, so what happened next?”

“Butch walked outside and came back into the store about ten minutes later, wearing the exact same sunglasses I accused him of stealing. When I asked where he got them, he smiled that crooked smile and said they were his. He even handed them to me. They were mine, but for the life of me I couldn’t prove he pocketed them, so I handed the sunglasses back. That’s when I called the police. Hopefully you can prove he stole them.”

“Do you have any cameras in the store?”

“No.”

The detective looked over his notes. Maybe there was something he’d written that would help determine if a crime had taken place. When he finished he asked Mr. Palmer one question. “Did you notice if your hands were sticky after you held the glasses?”

“Yes. Afterwards I remember going to the restroom and washing my hands.”

“The case is solved.”

“What do you mean? There’s no way to prove he stole them. I watched him the entire time.”

“Not quite. You rang up a customer.”

Mr. Palmer nodded.

The detective tapped a pen on the pad. “You took your eyes off him to ring up the order.”

“That’s right. But what does that have to do with the stolen sunglasses?”

“It proves how he took them.”

Did you solve the case? The answer will be revealed tomorrow by clicking on a different link.  

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