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Saturday, January 26, 2008

True Detective Stories

God, do I hate day work. Every idiot from Manayunk to East Oak Lane is out and about, trying their damnedest to stop by the detective division and bother little ol' me. Don;t get me wrong; real victims get the utmost service from me and my co-workers. It's the other lunatics that make me want to reach for my O.C. spray. For example:

Yesterday, an middle-aged woman came to the window and asked to speak to a detective. I proudly replied, "Well, I am a detective, ma'am. What can I do for ya?" The woman looked me up and down, and asked, "Are you a detective?"

Inner voice: "Here we go." Apparently, she can't see my shield, gun, and handcuffs from two feet away.

"Um, yes, ma'am, I am a real-life, big-city detective," I replied.

She still looked at me like I had three heads, but continued. "I need some help. Someone is using my identity, and I would like to press charges. I have the records here with me." This is going to be easy, I thought. Maybe my day is getting better. I took her xerox copies and looked them over. It was a list of names from Zaba Search.

Zaba Search is a site created by scumbags for scumbags. You can find the address and phone number of almost anyone on earth if you type in their name and state. For police officers, it is a nuisance, since we don't want the toads we lock up on Friday appearing at our door on Sunday. Anyway, their facts are not always correct, and sometimes the same person can be listed in a search multiple times, with different, incorrect addresses. This woman brought me the search of her name.

"Um, ma'am, this is just a copy of an Internet search. Were you the victim of a crime?"

She bristled at that, which should have been the first sign that I was doomed. "YES! SOMEONE IS USING MY NAME!!!"

"But ma'am," I replied, "Did anyone access your checking account, open up a new account in your name, or otherwise mess with your finances?" ("Mess" is a police term, by the way.)


As I contemplated suicide, I realized I was faced with three options:
  1. Drag the woman through the window and beat her to death with a stapler.
  2. Politely explain (for the third time) that she was not the victim of a crime simply because she found her name on the Internet.
  3. Reassure the woman that I would "look into" the incident, and call her if anything broke.
Since it was late in the day, I chose option #3. The woman was happy, but I'll never get those twenty minutes of my life back. Dang.