I will reconnect that function after the first of the year when I have time to mess with it.
In the meantime, another story from the old files. I remember one of my first surveillance operations. I interviewed a guy arrested for stealing from the River Hills apartment high rise at 600 E. 8th St. He was a River Hills security guard. The building had experienced a series of burglaries. One of the victims was Circuit Court Judge Harry Davis. This guy offered information on the burglar if he was given immunity and we got his current stealing charge dismissed. We agreed on the condition that the information was good and led to an arrest of the culprit. He related that he had given a list of the tenants apartment numbers with corresponding home phone numbers to a man named Darrell Johnson. We checked him out and he was recently released on parole from a 10 year sentence for armed robbery. We reviewed the pattern and noted the burglar always struck in the afternoon about every third day. It had been two days, so the next day we got the Central Patrol Tactical Response Unit to wear plain clothes and myself and a couple of other property detectives established watch points on each level of the 3 level underground parking lot, the lobby and the perimeter of the building. Each team was armed with a photo of Darrell. Shortly into the surveillance, 2 unrelated guys tried to break into a car in the lower level parking level. We interrupted that crime, yelled at them and sent them on their way.
About 3:00 PM, the lobby crew radioed that our suspect had entered the building and gone up an elevator. We waited with baited breath until he reappeared in the lobby. We stopped him. A quick search of his person revealed coins, cash, some jewelry and an expensive watch. We booked him for investigation of burglary and waited until folks got home from work. Finally, we had to let him go. The next day a resident filed a burglary report and identified the property we had confiscated from Darrell. I obtained a search warrant for other items stolen from River Hills as well as the River Hills master key and the master list of residents.
We served the warrant and found many jewelry items listed as stolen, an 8 mm projector and box of porn tapes, the master list was found torn to pieces in his waste basket and the master key was found. We found a .32 cal. revolver reported stolen by Judge Davis. We charged Darrell with burglary and then offered to help him minimize his charges if he would give up the fence who had purchased a large amount of very expensive jewelry reported stolen and still missing.
The woman who had reported a large loss of very expensive jewelry was a manicurist at a downtown barber shop. I asked her where she obtained these items and she replied, “oh, friends gave them to me.” She was very attractive and about 40 years old at the time.
Darrell gave us the information that a well known downtown jewelry store had purchased the expensive jewelry. We obtained a search warrant and recovered 2 of the pieces. This store was owned by a seemingly legitimate well connected local person. The prosecutor later told us he was not taking any action against the store owner.
Here is where Kansas City mafia comes into the story. A few years later, Bobby Arnold and I are investigating a long time Mafia associate named Morris “Snag” Klein. We follow him from the Time To Read News Stand at 12th and Baltimore to a barber shop. Inside we see him converse with my old friend, the attractive 40 something woman from River Hills. Now I knew how the beautiful manicurist had owned about $20,000.00 worth of jewelry. She was Snag Klein’s long time girl friend. The most likely source of that jewelry was from a jewelry theft from out of state.
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