Chapter 5: Any Thoughts On It, Jameson

My knowledge of the bank robbery isn’t much because it wasn’t my case to run; however, everyone knows Quinntella Wallace ran the job and there were a couple of fatalities, one on each end. Acknowledging the body that we found dead in the middle of the road is a new play in the case. The stiff had the same clothing as described, although we still don’t know the name of the guy. He was beaten savagely to where parts of his brain were showing, then thrown from a car at just above the speed limit, according to the autopsy.

This person did mention one of the guards in the truck was killed as well. I still can’t get a peg on who this or any other person was involved in the robbery; having only used codenames throughout. Regardless, the story from the results pool seems full. Now, I have to go chat with the Captain to see if the story matches the reports and footage.

I ask, “Anything else?

The cloaked perp answers in the same stable tone, “Nothing.”

“Okay, I’ll have to take this up the chain, just sit tight and we’ll see if the carpet matches the drapes.”

I sit, briefly, waiting on an offended response from a woman hidden underneath. No such luck comes to shine over my dim light of sexual confusion. I rise with my very obedient partner and leave the room, still having no clue why he was sprung up on me. Actually doing what he’s told still raises questions such as: Why is he doing that? There are two answers to that: Observing our methods to put in a report to someone higher, or observing our methods to unlearn academy training.

We exit and enter the next room to the Captain holding a stare at the perp as he speaks, “The shoes fit. Everything happened inside and out, just the way it was told.”

In disbelief, I ask, “Are you serious? There’s no way one of Quinntella’s people would roll over on her. That shit’s just unheard of.”

Terrell glances past me, “Any thoughts on it, Jameson?”

I turn to the rookie as he faces out of the window, sighing out an answer, “If the story matches, this woman deserves to be given protection for what she knows.”

“Woman?”

“From what was said, this person doesn’t seem to have had any aggressive attitude at the bank, very passive behavior, very perfectionist attitude. That kind of demeanor makes me think our perp is a woman.”

I state, “I’m sure that’s what this person wants you to think. You don’t sneak into a police station dressed like that without the intent of literally trying to mask your sex.”

“She’s not concealing her identity to protect herself, she’s concealing it to protect her investment; us. From what I know about Quinn Wallace, if she were to find out anyone betrayed her, nothing would stop her from getting to them. And no one is ever out of her reach.”

Terrell states, “Identifying this person is no longer priority one. We need to get in contact with our friends at the FBI and get this deal started. If they know what’s on the table, they’ll definitely play ball. I’ll call it in and you two need to get a hold of the money and information on possible whereabouts.”

I got some questions the rookie can’t be around for, “Captain, can we talk in private for a second?”

Without an answer, he steps around me, leading the way out of the viewing room, “What is it?”

Looking around the empty hallway for eavesdroppers, I ask, “Have you contacted Danielle?”

“Not until we have the money in our hands. If she knows we have a connection to Wallace, she’d wanna take the situation into her own hands to get the locations for herself. Then we lose out on a historic bust for the New York books. Once we have Quinntella booked, we’ll go from there with returning her money to her and taking our finder’s fee.”

“You got anything on this new guy? Where’d he come from?”

“He’s good, as far as I know. Spotless record, new to this precinct, top academy graduate on the night shift, started tonight. I ran his name through the database and his record checks out; I even called his previous employer to make sure he’s legit and everything’s clean. The Feds are tricky as fuck though, so keep his leash dialed back. They’re still working on his precinct profile for resources, etcetera.”

“Sounds good.”

Captain Terrell opens the viewing room door, “Find out where the money is and I’ll call our friends at the Bureau.”

Jameson walks out of the room and joins me back at the interrogation room door as Terrell closes his. We enter to see the perp hasn’t as much as twitched since we walked out of here. Can this person really be a woman, like the rook says?

Without hesitation, I get to the point, “Your story checks out.”

The perp asks in the usual soft tone, “And my protection?”

“Although your story checks out, we need the heist money to make sure you actually have something for us.”

The perp remarks, “Of course you do.”

I take advantage of the remark by biting back, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“What do you think it means? Danielle misses her money and wants it back. Before you hand it off to her, I need a guarantee of protection.”

I raise my voice, “You think I’m a fuckin’ dirty cop? A dirty cop would’ve cut these cameras off and beat the information outta you.”

“Or cut the cameras off and made me sign a piece of blank paper then got off with the money. Regardless, you get the location of the money and locations after I feel safe enough to give it.”

“You makin’ the orders now?”

“I’ve been making the orders since you walked in. Protection for info and money, that’s the deal. I’m certain it shouldn’t be a problem to have an agreement upon delivery. I don’t expect to walk out of here with a security detail before giving you what I said I would.”

I was attempting to recover the money before handing off a random piece of paper, “Okay then that’s fair. My Captain will be right in with that but we need somewhere to go while we wait.”

“There’s a black truck parked three blocks east of here. Same truck we used for the getaway. Every dollar is in the trunk, key’s on the passenger tire.”

I don’t even hand out a thank you before leaving the rookie in charge of guarding the perp, “Stay here, Captain will be in, in a second.”

Jameson acknowledges my command, “Got it.”

On my exit, Terrell is already waiting outside in the hall for me with a command as well, “Secure that truck, no back-up. Keep the bags in the trunk of your car, until we get this person moved. Go.”

We brush past each other, as I leave out the way I came in and he enters the interrogation room with paperwork in hand. Hopefully it’s just sheets of blank paper for the perp to write locations on, instead of an agreement for protection. I haven’t been a cop as long as most of the guys here, but I’m certain something like this has never happened before. Terrell is keeping it between the two of us, making it evident he has an agenda at play. Stashing the bank money blocks away leaves plenty of room for opportunity to skim off the top; even worse, leaving a darkened truck parked in this shitty part of the city would make anyone curious about what’s inside.

At any point, the truck could be broken into or stolen, expediting my walking speed. If the money decides to disappear, there’d be no credibility that the money was ever there to begin with; a bad sign for the newer parties involved, being us. I exit the station’s double doors, back on the half-ass beat for a short time. The black skies and unhealthy-like citizens, both poor and poorer, roam the streets near the station.

Some of the more organized homeless people find it more safe to stay nearby, away from the ones who’d take from them. I walk the dirty streets with haste, going east, clearly exposing my shield to ward off anybody with crazy ideas like panhandling or theft. These streets used to make me nervous, with the amount of people that didn’t give a shit walking about. Not killing cops is a ground rule that most of these people tend to follow, for fear that we’d come cracking down on everyone in the area; providing me a forcefield of at least a few blocks.

Everything is closed, aside from some liquor stores that are occupied with more people outside than in; likely thugs and gang members who like to hold down storefronts that aren’t actually theirs. Keeping trouble away, yet attracting trouble over with shouts of insults and throwing up signs. I reach the specified street’s corner, looking left, right, and across the street on both ends for the black truck. With all the cars parked on the sidewalks, I can’t get a good visual so I take the left, wondering if I’d been played by our unknown perp.

Stashing millions in a parked truck of not-so-great condition would fetch a chance of it not being broken into. Not long into walking, I see the black SUV with tinted windows, in near-mint condition. Being cautious, I scope out the truck while walking by it, confirming everything about it is normal. Other than not being able to see beyond the tint, it appears to be an average truck. I’m very surprised it’s been here for almost an hour and no one’s touched it; likely unaware and cautious of the big shot it may belong to.

I circle the truck completely, before going for the key on the tire. Swiping my hand across the top, I retrieve the key and use it in the slot instead of the fob device. Double twisting the key unlocks the entire truck then I got to the back, immediately hovering my fingers under the sensor to open it. Six black duffle bags sit stacked on top of each other like building blocks. Diving into the first bag proves how untrusting I can be in mysterious perps; a half-million dollars is banded and lounging in this bag.

The bills look real enough and I don’t plan to sit here examining them all. Before I get jacked, I jump in the truck and drive it back over to the precinct. The neighborhood feels much less safe than walking, because of this vehicle’s blackened tint. The gangs and dealers are attempting to watch me as best they can, while I drive by with above-average grace; signifying that I won’t be doing a drive-by. I pull into the station and check-in at the gate as if the car were mine.

The proper etiquette would be turning the car in to the guys at the impound lot but it’ll no longer be only mine to control. Once parked in the underground garage, I make my way back up via elevator, arriving in the hallway not too far my desk. I look around at everyone with suspicion, like I’m in a bad place and being targeted. A rookie mistake is trusting any of these guys as far as I can throw them, having worked beside them as long as I have. They don’t know that I just parked a truck downstairs with enough yearly salaries to live forever, which puts me at ease.

Entering the hallway that’ll take me to the interrogation room, I bump into someone with an apology, “Sorry about that.”

I recognize one of the geeks from the tech lab downstairs; the straight arrows who get off by making sure the wires are functioning and listening in on phone taps. I’m not familiar with those guys and they don’t get much work, because we don’t give two shits about going undercover.

The tech accepts my apology, “It’s no problem. You seen the Captain? No one seems to know where he is.”

I answer and question, “He’s in interrogation with my perp. You need me to give him a message? I’m headed back.”

He looks into a manila folder, “Yeah, we just finished the new guy’s file. Uh… Jameson.”

“I think he’s gonna be partnered up with me.”

I glance into the file and commence thumbing over where he’s been over the years. As it turns out, he’s only a rookie to this department. A bit of peculiar info catches my eye, taking notice that he’s been a cop about as long as I’ve been alive. How could that be? I look at the top right corner and soak in the picture of a much more elderly man than the one in my age bracket, currently with the Captain.

I state, “That’s not Jameson.”

The tech inquires, “You knew him?”

“What do you mean knew him?”

“Him and his family were found dead in their house about an hour ago. All gunned down. Looks like a robbery.”

“We got a Jameson who just started tonight. He’s in the interrogation room with Captain Terrell and our suspect right now.”

“You sure you got the right Jameson in there? There’s nobody on the roster to start today.”

Do we? The profile doesn’t match, nobody new is scheduled today, and we got a mystery perp from a bank job that refuses to reveal their identity; a bank job that we actually recovered a bag from. We just got handed the other bags from the heist, but now they’re all in one place again, ripe for the taking. It’s a set up and we fell right into it.

I comment in a low tone to myself, “Son of a bitch.” I demand as I rush through the hall to warn the Captain, “Get backup to the interrogation room, right now.”

I draw my pistol from its holster and sprint through the hallway. With a racing heart, turn after turn can’t get me where I need to go fast enough. An imposter has murdered and taken the place of an officer. Is this person after the money or is this person trying to discover who our mystery guest is? If the false Jameson murdered the real one’s family, a cop’s family, then what else are they capable of?