BY FELIX IMONTI
Copyright is held by the author.
WHEN THE security company telephoned at four o’clock in the morning to tell Matt West that someone had attempted to break into his jewelry store, he went into a rage. It was the second attempt in six months.
The final straw was when his wife was knocked down by two teenagers and had her purse snatched. Fortunately, she wasn’t injured, but that was just a stroke of good luck.
He kept saying, “Something has to be done,” but he didn’t know what. He couldn’t stop thinking about it and started charting the crime pattern. The worst part of the city was Emerson Road. Even with the security cameras everywhere, car thefts and break-ins were happening nightly.
“The cops are useless,” he told anyone who would listen to him.
It was something that he read in a novel that started the wheels spinning. The character in the novel was sick of crime and decided to solve it himself. The author provided the details and Matt saw exactly how to send a message to those punks.
He bought a plastic box at a dollar shop and filled it with one pound of black powder that he used for refilling cartridges. When the lid was open, the bomb would explode.
He saw an ad in the newspaper for a 12-year-old Ford; it was what he wanted to deliver the bomb to the right place. The car was in lousy condition, but it wouldn’t be noticed by anyone and would make it to Emerson Road. He would use it only once before he sold it to a scrap yard.
He parked in a shopping centre that he knew had security cameras that did not cover the entire parking lot. The plastic box was put into a cheap brief case and left on the driver’s seat with the door unlocked while he went into a supermarket. When he came out 15 minutes later, he could see that the door was open. The box was gone.
At one o’clock in the morning, the doorbell rang. He checked his security camera. There were two men in police uniforms at the door.
“Mister West?” One of them asked and showed his ID as he did.
“Yes, what is it?” He was shaking inside. How could they have discovered his connection to the box? He had wiped off his fingerprints. Those plastic boxes were sold by the millions.
“Is this your son?” The officer flashed a driver’s license that had his son’s face and name.
“Do you know if he is involved with any terrorist groups?”
“Of course not. He is a top student and the best track star at the school. He’s getting a full scholarship to the university.
“He and two others were making a bomb that exploded. We found a lot of stolen items in the apartment. We think that they were a part of a terrorist cell that was using robberies to finance their activities. We have a warrant to search the house.”