Gloria was sat at the breakfast bar with a digital camera plugged into a netbook and that connected to her phone. She was studying fingerprints and flipping back and forth to a rough schematic of the flat. “Was there any excitement?” she asked when Kay and Irwin returned.
“More like embarrassment.” Irwin admitted, “Do you have anything interesting?”
“Prints from four people- one child and three adults. They’re being run for me now. This one,” she tapped an image of smudged whorls and ridges, “is the one I’m most interested in. I found it on the tap in the bathroom and nowhere else.”
“We’ve got a couple of number plates being run.” Kay said as she pulled up a stool “Now I guess we just wait and see if any of this stuff tells us anything useful.”
The fingerprint result came back first. Gloria’s netbook pinged and they crowded around it to see what it said. When the file opened they all made little groans of disappointment. The print had been pulled from what was left of three stolen and stripped cars, but no name had been attached to it. Further details of each theft were included and, because whoever was on the other end of the message was thorough, a number of similar thefts. Before Irwin even had to suggest it Gloria was mapping the thefts to see if they were centred on any particular area.
“It’s quite a step from car theft to kidnapping.” Irwin noted, “And it looks like whoever’s organising this has subcontracted some of the work out to local talent.”
“But that doesn’t get us any closer to finding the wife and kid, does it.” Kay fretted.
“No, I guess not. Do you have anything for us Gloria?”
“I’m afraid not.” Gloria pushed the netbook away from her so they could all see the screen more clearly. The various car thefts were marked on the map as little stars, with the three which had donated prints in red with the rest in yellow. They were spread almost evenly over the map, the only pattern that could be discerned was clustering in the sort of area where more expensive cars would be more common. “Sorry.”
“Hey, it’s not your fault the thief goes where the best hauls are.” Irwin leant against the breakfast bar and crossed his arms, “Now I guess we have to hope that the vans can tell us something.”