Chapter 22 || How To Trick The Police Piece By Piece...
I hate LA traffic. It’s being stuck in one of those telephone waiting loops. You have no idea where you are and how long it’ll take you to reach your destination.
Fortunately, I managed to wangle my way through the traffic, but still arrived later at the museum than I intended to. I could see the crush of people before I had even reached the LACM, including curious on lookers.
I parked my car a little further away from the crowd and made my way to find David. When I arrived at the scene of the event, I was merely able to see the door of the museum because it was blocked by insistent journalists. A chain was broadly placed around the centre of the square of the museum which kept a majority of the people away but sadly not everyone.
A men was screaming through a megaphone, telling the people to back off and stay behind the chain, but his attempt was rather futile.
The police was completely understaffed considering the ratio of people and police men or women. I walked to the police cars hoping to find Alex’ father when I spotted him talking to a familiar looking guy. Only, when I drew closer, I was able to identify the face, but he vanished in the crowd before I could talk to him.
“Jessica !“, David exclaimed as he caught sight of me.
“What the hell is going on in here ?“, I pointed at the middle of the ocean of people.
“Mr. Jensen is being accused of being responsible for the Greenheart Robbery. There was found some evidence that is highly incriminating.“, he explained as he walked over to his car.
“What about Kyle and Sofía ?“, I followed him. “They’re trapped in the museum and can’t get out of there.
“We have tried everything to get them out of there.“, he sighed. “But there is a raid at the other side of Los Angeles which means we don’t have enough people to actually keep those nasty paparazzi away. The only thing we can do is wait for the backup.”
I was more than furious about his indifference. Sofía and Kyle are being hunted down by some crazy journalists and they just sit here and sip tea.
“Who was the guy you talked to one minute ago ?“, I asked him inquisitively.
“Rafael Moreno, a witness.“, he replied bluntly without going into further detail.
That is highly interesting...
“Jessica, I can’t tell you. I have told you already more than I was allowed to.“, he opened the door in his car, took the walkie-talkie and started talking to his colleagues in another police car. “Cobra 1, what’s your 20 ?”
Apparently, they were using these walkie-talkie codes. My dad taught me them when I was young and we used make a game out of it along with Emma. As far as I can remember, he just asked them for their location.
“10-20 police car on the side walk, guarding the suspect, over.“, the man on the other side of the line repeated.
Before David could say anything further to his colleagues I interrupted their conversation.
“Please, I might be able to help you, just tell me.“, I begged him, causing him to raise his eyebrows in surprise.
He let out a huge sigh. “We received an anonymous tip, although I’m pretty sure it was him because I recognized his voice. The person said that he saw Mark Jensen how was behaving suspicious when it came to those paintings and that he tried to copy those paintings when he stayed the whole night at the museum at some days. We acted upon that tip and found some half-finished painting of those who were stolen. Mr. Moreno also repeated his statement in front of me saying he occasionally work there as a waiter and accuses him of being the culprit.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. Why would he try to replace the paintings and then leave a big mark all over the wall to make it evident that they were stolen.”
“I don’t know.“, he shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t believe he did it but I can’t ignore the evidence just because of what I think, so if you have anything that could help us just go ahead.”
“When I was at the America’s future gala, I saw him talking to Elyas Selouti, not for long but it seemed pretty weird.“, I started to explain.
“Jayla’s father ?”
I nodded at his question. “I was looking for the bathroom so I asked him but he just pointed at the corridor and walked away. When I was strolled down the corridor I overheard a conversation between Jayla’s father and a man I don’t know. They said that Rafael and some other guys will help them get their money and Mr. Selouti is known for lending people money.“, I paused
“What if Moreno is in debts to him and stole the paintings to pay him off. He desperately tries to accuse Kyle’s father, he is somehow connected to Elyas Selouti and he occasionally work there as a waiter which means he has access to the paintings.“, David slowly nodded in agreement as I kept on with my suspicion.
“This seems plausible, indeed. I just can’t promise you anything but I will go after that trace. Thank you, Jessica. You might prevent an innocent man to go into jail for a very long time.”
When I was about to say something back, I felt my phone buzzing my back pocket. “Hello ?”
“Jessica ?“, Sofía breathed heavily. “Are you at the museum ?”
“Good.“, she interrupted me hastily. “According to Kyle there is a back door in the museum. the problem is you can only exit it with a code or with the key which we don’t know have, but you can also enter it with a key but the only one who has it is Kyle’s father. You need to get the key and get us out of here.”
“He is probably already at the police station. How am I supposed to do that ?“, I started to panic internally. This is nearly impossible...
“You’ll find a way.“, she shouted through the phone. “I gotta go. Our barricade is about to be destroyed.“, she said quickly and hung up on me, leaving me completely clueless.
I stood in the middle of a ‘crime scene’ and was supposed to trick to the police to talk to a prime suspect in order to get his keys for the museum to save my friends. Nobody will ever believe me that this really happened.
“David ? Is Mr. Jensen already at the police station ?“, I asked him.
“No.“, he shook his head.“There was a car accident which blocks the whole street and there is no alternative route because of the marathon, so we have to wait until the street is passable again.”
“Good. I need to talk to him.“, I said firmly but he just snorted at my words.
“I can’t let you do that”, he laughed. “I’ll lose my job.”
“But this is the only way to free them.“, I insisted, but David didn’t look very convinced.
“I have already told you more than you should know. I can’t let you just talk to a prime suspect, sorry, but I vacate my desk if someone finds out.“, I sighed at his response.
I didn’t want to be responsible for him losing his job but this is the only opportunity. Seems like I have to find a way on my own...
I strolled around the place to get an overall view of the situation. As far as I could assess the event, there were only two police cars within a reachable radius around the museum. One was rather remote and there was nobody standing around it.
The other one was located on the edge of the sidewalk, being surrounded by three police men. I tried to find a way to get to the car but it seemed impossible with that high security level. I could see that the window was slightly opened, probably because of the hot weather today.
The man with the megaphone suddenly shouted across the square again which gave me an idea, though I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if this will work out.
I walked back to David’s car to see that he was gone and also not within range of his car. I tried to open the car and fortunately he forgot to lock it. Reaching out for the walkie-talkie, I inspected it thoroughly.
I still knew some of the ‘10 codes’ and colour codes but I still didn’t know if I could use them properly. This is my only chance to save them so I need try my luck.
I pushed the button and started talking.“Cobra 1, got your ears on ?“, I disguised my voice by lowering it, asking if he was listening.
“Affirmative, over.” he confirmed, seemingly without being suspicious.
“Code purple. 10-200 Second Street two blocks from here immediately. Do you copy ?“, I asked, after telling him that there was some gang stuff going on and that they were needed there.
“10-4, over.“, he said, confirming that he received my message. I quickly put the walkie-talkie back in the car and watched the police men, speeding down the street, not evening paying attention to their suspect anymore what.
Hustling over to the car, I checked if there was anyone who could see me but most of the people were busy with talking to some journalists or waiting for Sofía and Kyle to come out. Unexpectedly, they paid more attention to the children than to the actual suspect.
When I reached the car, I looked through the gap of the window, revealing Kyle’s dad being totally devastated. “Mr. Jensen.“, I whispered.
His head shot up to me as he stared at me confusedly. “Jessica ?“, he drew closer to the window. “What are you doing here ?”
“Trying to save your son and Sofía. They’re trapped inside of the museum and the press is about to invade it and probably verbally lynch them in front of everyone. I saw a helicopter and some camera men which means they are live on air. If they make it into the museum, they are completely being exposed on National TV. I need your keys to get them out of there.“, I prattled away, trying to catch my breath.
“They hand cuffed me. Wait, I try to get them out of my pocket.“, I could hear rustling until a bunch of keys finally appeared in the gap. “Thank you.”
“Jessica.“, Mr. Jensen called me when I was about to leave. “Yeah.“, I looked through the gap.
“I didn’t do anything. I’m innocent, really.”
“I believe you.“, I smiled. “And I will find a way to prove that.”
I tried not to lose one more second and rushed over to my car. As far as I know, the back door leads to the opposite side of the entrance door which means I need to place my car there so that we can leave as soon as possible.
I jumped into my car and drove around a few blocks until I eventually reached the back of the building. Looking for an entrance, I finally found it in a side alley.
The alley looked rather unpleasant with a few dumpsters being placed in the back and a lot of trash lying around here.
In the end, I tried a five keys until I had found the right one, put it in the lock and opened the door. Taking a little stone from outside, I put it between the door and the door case to make the escape easier.
The door led into a fancy corridor, which was longer than I expected it to be. I entered the main hall in time and saw Kyle and Sofía walking around nervously. “Sofía ! Kyle ! Follow me !“, I screamed at them, causing them to run towards me. “Thank God, you made it.“, Sofiá exclaimed in relief.
“Save your speech for later, we need to get out of here, now.”
As we sprinted down the hallway, I heard huge crash which made me jump for a second. Apparently, they managed to knock the door through because I could hear loud voices and footsteps.
On our arrival at the exit, I opened the door, letting Sofía and Kyle pass through the door first. Closing the door behind me, I kicked the stone away and ran towards my car. Entering the car, I put my keys in the steering lock, hit the accelerator and drove off as fast as I could.
The further we drove out of LA, the more relaxed I became. I looked through the rear-view mirror, seeing Kyle who had closed his eyes, seemingly exhausted.
Sofía leaned her head against the rest and sighed. “This was the worst day of my life. It must have been tough for you to get the keys”
“You have no idea.”