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Laptop Mystery
Matt, Age 11, Clinton Township, MI

The orange sun sparkled on the glittery morning dew; it was a perfect day for a McGlinnen mystery.

Mrs. Cottrell’s 5th graders walked into their classroom and gave Mrs. Cottrell a high-five. It was a almost normal Monday morning, write the agenda, get spelling words, look up definitions on the laptops.

Computer safeties, Matt and Steve, unlocked the laptop cart and grabbed a laptop, paying no attention to which ones they grabbed.

“Feeling light” announced Matt.

Matt and Steve sat on the tile by the coat rack and opened the cover of the laptop and stared at the screen.

“What the…” Steve paused.

The laptops were made of loose-leaf lined-paper and on the screen was a picture of a mop and bucket, on Matt’s screen shown, sponge and soap.

“Maybe, the janitor, Janitor Jan Swep…” suggested Matt

“I don’t think so…” Steve thought.

“Mrs. Cottrell!” Matt blurted out. “The laptops are missing!”

“Someone stole them!” someone called out.

“Do you want to write your name in the notebook?” threatened Mrs. Cottrell.

“Sorry” apologized Alex

“How come every time something is missing it has to be stolen?” asked Matt.

“Cuz it is” Destiny answered.

“Because it is” corrected Mrs. Cottrell.

Mrs. Cottrell did her careful examination of the laptop cart, everything was missing, laptop chargers, mice, the laptops. Then Mrs. Cottrell saw a note.

The note read, “You’ll have to clean up your act to find out who’s the ‘Laptop Scoundrel”.

“Wait” thought Steve “How did the thief open the lock? Smash it? The lock is perfectly fine!”

“Good point” Matt complimented “Maybe the laptop scoundrel knows the code.”

All eyes scanned the room, but they stopped on the computer safeties.

“OHHHH” the class gasped.

“Don’t get any ideas” protested Matt “I don’t know about Steve, but I didn’t do it!”

“RING!” The bell rang for morning recess. “Phew, thank you!” thanked Matt. The boys ran into the hall to play chess while the girls ran to the other rooms to gossip about the Jonas Brothers and the case of the missing laptops and who the thief could be.

After recess the class made a list of suspects, Matt at the top, written in red marker, Steve below, written with blue, underneath the 2 major suspects were 2 other names wrote in small and in black marker. Mr. Hemler, and Mr. Columbo, they were the other 2 computer people in the school.

Later that day, Mrs. Cottrell allowed a group of kids to go around the school and look for clues.

David, one of the 5th graders in the search party, found something. Muddy footprints and tire tracks from Mrs. Kania’s blue cart, guessed the group.

The search party looked for suspects; the search party was in the kindergartener’s hall, “RING!” the bell rang. The little kids ran down the hall. The party looked at the children; the kindergartener’s avoided direct eye contact.

“At this rate, they could all be the “Laptop Scoundrel” Jordan suggested.

“Maybe they all did it” laughed Holly.

Next the group went down to the office to ask if they could see the security tape from the night before.

They fast-forwarded the tape until their “leader” told them to stop.

“Stop.” Holly commanded.

“Jeez,” Jordan grumbled as he rubbed his ears.

The screen showed the front door of the school, many posters hung on the wall. .

The children watched the TV Screen. The screen lit the darkened office.

The tape showed 2 kids with Mrs. Kania’s cart full of laptops.

”Jeez,” Jordan gasped.

“Will you be quiet?” Geneva asked.

“Sorry.” Jordan apologized.

“Wait.” Holly commanded.

The tape stopped, it showed 2 kids with masks on. It looked like a boy and a girl.

”Wait,” Holly thought “Matt and Steve, friends, they could be accomplices in crime.” Holly told her idea to the group.

“Do you have something against Matt and Steve or something?” Jordan joked.

“I don’t know.” Holly squeaked.

After the tape was being watched the news reached the principal and the police were called.

Eventually the police arrived to interrogate the suspects. Mr. Columbo and Mr. Hemler were proven innocent. Next were Matt and Steve, at the same time.

”Where were you at 11’o’clock last night? Tell me!” Commanded Detective Homes.

The boys were peevish.

Matt thought for a second. “Sleeping!”

“Smart guy, huh?”

“I was sleeping! Ask my parents, that’s my excuse!” Matt argued.

Matt and Steve were proven not guilty.

The search party looked all around.

They had discovered another clue, Mrs. Kania’s classroom door’s lock was unlocked with the principal's key and Mrs. Kania’s cart was missing.

“Was it Mrs. LaMont?” wondered Jordan.

“Maybe Mrs. Kania.” Holly suggested.

“Do you have something against Mrs. Kania or something?” asked Jordan.

“No!” Holly answered.

The search party had not found any evidence pointed to the suspect. The teacher said that for the rest of the day there was no more search parties.

The 3rd graders had a fun time at the end of the day, they were playing kickball. Kyle, kicked the ball so far it flew from the playground to the staff parking lot.

“Mrs. Brown! screamed Kyle. “When I went for the ball, I saw a blue van, full of laptops!”

Kyle explained the Laptop Scoundrel. Police cruisers pulled up in front of McGlinnen Elementary. The police examined the car and looked and the license plate, JANSWEP.

Mrs. LaMont came out to talk with the police. “Well, “she said “JANSWEP could be Janitor Jan Swep.”

Janitor Swep was called out to talk with the police.

Swep confessed to the crime.

“Mrs. Swep, you are arrested for the theft of laptops.”

The laptops were returned, it was finally a normal day.

 
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