"Brendon Grey. Thirty-six years old. And-" Maximus paused in his fact file about this suspect. I didn't know why he was reading it out loud, all he needed to do was write it down. "Wow. His criminal record deserves a prize for being the most pathetic."
I rolled my eyes and moved over to see the screen. We were in the HQ because the stuff in it was more high tech than even Maximus's all-singing-all-dancing SatNav system. "I agree," I said, after seeing that they guy had tried to rob several corner shops, got caught each time, and then attempted to burgle his sister's house, only to fail because he'd forgotten that he had keys. He'd also used a few disguises, which either made him look more suspicious and obvious, or were just generally so bad that he would've been better off without them.
"That's not the half of it," Maximus told me. "Watch the video that got him caught the second time."
He opened a different window to a CCTV video, where Brendon walked in, went up to the counter and then whipped out his gun. From then on it was just such a failure. Every time he moved, the gun was displayed clearly to the camera, and then when he finally noticed the cashier's eyes constantly flicking upwards,he did the most stupid thing he could have done. He moved so close to it that every detail on his face was visible, then took a mini screwdriver from his pocket and unscrewed it from the wall. A hazy view of the floor, then it turned off.
"And here's me thinking you're an idiot," I grinned at Maximus.
"I know, right? How thick can you get?"
"Not much thicker than that."
Maximus laughed and then continued clicking and searching, and stopped reading stuff aloud. I went back to sorting through the files which he'd scattered across my living room last night.
After around ten minutes, someone came up to me. "The fingerprints on the gun show that it may have belonged to Tiffany Feldon. But it wasn't fired, only used as a threat."
"OK, thanks," I nodded, and then she walked off.
Maximus dropped a page from the notepad he was using onto the coffee table I was leaning on. He'd paper-clipped to it a picture of a pretty, ginger girl, who looked a bit younger than me. "That's Tiffany Feldon," he said. "Clean record. She looks kinda like that guy from earlier, Ewan, I think his name was. You know, the one who said he was twenty-four, but was actually twenty-two? It says she's always involved when something's going on, but always something picky, just like fingerprints."
I frowned. "No way is she old enough to legally have a gun. I wonder why she hasn't been arrested..."
"Maybe they're using her as a cover-up. Like, to make it look like she's doing it so they don't get caught."
"That would work, except her record's clean." I shook my head. "I don't understand."
Maximus was frowning thoughtfully. "I think... nah, it won't work."
"Doesn't matter. It'll sound... unmodest"
"Well, I think I'm right. That... the reason she never gets caught is because she always escapes first."
"Yeah," I agreed immediately, having seen where he was going. "Like the behind the scenes stuff, while the others made a big deal of it."
"Yes." He said. "So why don't they just arrest her and get it over with?"
I shrugged. "That's easy. She's not the mastermind. If you're right, she's just being used. Either way, we're actually getting somewhere."
Maximus grinned. "Yes we are. So go stick her picture on that big glass screen for difficult and extensive research and write it all down."
Rolling my eyes, I did what he said because I didn't want to get into an argument and make my good mood short-lived.
This mission now felt more like a mission, rather than an annoying, unsolvable problem.