Monday, December 6, 2010

The Police Wanted to See Me

When I came into work the other day, one of the managers told me that someone had been in the store to see me. A police officer.

"A police officer wants to see me? WHY?", I asked.

"You did an order for someone in August and he wanted to talk to you about it," he said. "Here's his number, but he said he'd try and call you back to.

"In August? Do we know anything about the order?", I said.

"It was a ship-to-home order, something about kidnapping. The word kidnap was in the title."

"Do we have a copy of the order? 'Cuz right now I'm not remembering anything. That was months ago."

"No, the officer has a copy of the order. You should give him a call." He gives me the number. I try to rack my brain and remember anything about an order that has anything to do with kidnapping, and can't remember anything. Another bookseller was the cashier for the order, I asked her if she remembered anything and she did not. The officer had spoken to her. She wondered if it had to do with the recent attempted kidnapping case that happened in the area. Gert Boyle, head of Columbia Sportswear, foiled a kidnapping attempt on herself. Three men had approached her late at night outside her home with a gift basket. She was suspicious, so told them she had to disarm the alarm system when in fact she pushed a button to summon the police. Who arrived within minutes.

As I did a little research, I found out that one of the men involved in the attempted kidnapping, evidently the ringleader, had ordered the book Kidnap for Ransom: Resolving the Unthinkable from our store in August. I had placed the order. The book was shipped to his home because it's categorized as a textbook (and costs over $60) and isn't something we usually carry in the store. From the book's description, it looked like a pretty thorough study of kidnapping, how kidnapping is becoming more prevalent; it tells who is often targeted to be kidnapped, how it's usually attempted, and how successful it often is.

        Kidnap for Ransom: Resolving the Unthinkable

I found out about the book (which we assumed was written as a textbook for criminal justice kinds of study, not a how-to manual for criminals, though obviously it could be read that way), but not much about the guy who placed the order. I had his name, and found a picture of him, but didn't remember anything about the order.

I called the officer. He asked if there was anything unusual about whoever ordered the book. How many people were with him when he ordered, was he alone? With a family? Other people? I didn't remember anything at all, and I felt bad.

"No problem," the officer said. "We're just checking. Thanks for your time."

So much for my career in crime fighting.

You can send email to 2of3RsATgmailDOTcom. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. When I was selling books I too was once sought after by the criminal justice system. I ended up testifying at the murder trial of a guy who bought "how-to-get-away-with-it" books after he murdered his wife. Those CCTV cameras in the store come in handy sometimes. It was all very interesting and somewhat fun. Guy is in jail now for a very, very long time.