Did Someone Say “Sherlock?”
Haven’t we all dreamed of becoming Sherlock Holmes at one point or another? Being a mystery-solving detective seems like so much fun, and the look on someone’s face when you catch them in the act is one of life’s greatest rewards.
That’s why Redditor by the name of Roberta decided when she found out the overnight camp she worked at was being plagued by a thief, to step up and try out being an amateur detective. She was a lowly “staffer” at the camp, a role even lower than camp counselor that involved mostly grunt work when she volunteered to help catch a thief.
Luckily, despite her lack of experience, she had a secret weapon at her disposal.
Okay, there’s something you should know about our narrator before we begin. She really, really likes napping.
In fact, one doctor told her she has chronic insomnia that makes her tired all the time, while another told her she has narcolepsy, a condition that causes you to fall asleep at random times abruptly. She has also been diagnosed as anemic, which adds to her fatigue.
As a result, Roberta was notorious at her camp for constantly napping in random places, earning her the nickname, “Ninja Napper.”
The other important thing to know about Roberta is that she loves the show Sherlock, and is a huge fan of detective stories. So when she heard her bosses talking about investigating who the camp thief was, she immediately volunteered her services.
For several weeks, someone from staff had been stealing money from the rest of the workers and lots of it.
Roberta knew that a good detective would rule out suspects by process of elimination. So she started by scouting everyone out. As she explains:
“My closest friends were out of the question since they roomed with me and I knew where they were at all times. Still, I investigated a bit and checked their alibis before ruling them out entirely. Then I moved on to the rest of the staffers. There were two I was suspicious of: a girl named Britney, and a guy named Dayton.
Britney had a bad reputation among the staffers as being mean, petty, and self-obsessed. Meanwhile, Dayton was seen as obnoxious, but a good worker. One thing I noticed about Dayton was that he seemed a little guarded at times. At this point, all the staffers knew each other well and had an ongoing game of grabbing and wearing each other’s clothes. We were all pretty close at this point, so it was just fun, but when I mentioned this to him, joking that we were kleptomaniacs, he went quiet and laughed nervously.
I checked out the counselors next, but they were clean. These older staff members were too busy dunking campers in the pool or doing crafts to care about the missing money problems of staffers. It was the same with the tech team, the recreation team, and the outdoor team.
That’s when I knew that my two suspects, Dayton and Britney, were the only two options.”
But how would Roberta determine which of two suspects was the culprit? Then, the unlikely happened: another theft occurred.
Immediately, Roberta ruled out Dayton, since he was off campus when the theft had occurred. But Britney’s alibi was a little more suspect.
“Britney claimed she had been in the pigpen (aka, the mess hall) at the time cleaning dishes, right near where the crime was committed. I knew I had my prime suspect.
*Britney was smart about it, though. She had a ‘witness,’ one of the cooks, testify they had been chatting in the pigpen when the crime was committed. Even though no one was sure _when_ the theft took place, they believed her alibi.” *
It was then when Roberta knew she had to outsmart Britney and set a trap so that she could catch her red-handed.
Britney was clever enough to know that Roberta was onto her. Roberta realized that to catch her suspect red-handed, she needed to convince her that she wasn’t a threat. But that was going to take time. That’s when she launched her master plan.
“First, I had to get her used to some things.
1. I nap everywhere. It was easy to adjust her to this since I was famous for it; I didn’t earn the nickname ‘Ninja Napper’ for nothing. I can never get a decent amount of sleep in the five hours we get to rest between finishing cleaning up at the end of the night and serving breakfast in the morning, so I sleep everywhere. On roofs, halfway up the rock climbing wall, under the serving counter, on TOP of the serving counter. You name it, I’ve slept there. Check.
2. It’s impossible to wake me up from noise or light but touch me even barely, and I’ll attack. This was also easy because it was true. Once I managed to sleep, I was dead to the world. If someone banged pots over my head (this happened), I stayed asleep. If someone flicked the lights on right in my eyes (this happened too), I stayed asleep. But if someone so much as brushed my arm on accident, I attacked. That’s where the ‘Ninja’ part of ‘Ninja Napper’ came in.
3. I leave my money wherever. This was a bit of a sacrifice. I’m pretty laid back, not to mention lazy because I’m always tired, so it’s not too far of a stretch, but in truth I’m meticulous with my money. I had to leave it and let her steal it for two weeks. That was my paycheck, and she was taking all of it. But sacrifices had to be made if I was going to bring this criminal to justice.
4. I’m an idiot. Everyone knew I was investigating the thief. Including Britney. So, I publicly accused several OTHER people, and confided privately about my suspicions to her. Don’t worry, I told the accused beforehand what was going on, but no one else knew. Britney was very agreeable when I suggested anyone but her.”
“Finally I set the trap. Over the span of a week, I let her steal about $100 from me, each time following her ‘tips’ and ‘accusing’ several people.
Then, one day, I took a nap in our cabin next to a handful of large bills -literally my paycheck that I had just received – and waited. She walked up, took the money, gave me the bird, and left. I stood up and calmly walked over to another bed where I had placed a camcorder, hidden under some blankets. Yep, I videotaped the whole thing.”
Roberta showed her bosses where Britney kept the money under her mattress, and then showed them the video. Then, she restored her reputation at the camp.
“I explained my random accusations to everyone who didn’t know – who all thought I was a jerk and a fool by then, and made a ridiculous amount of ‘Sherlock’ jokes and references on the way, because how could I not?
Once my bosses were able to say that she did it, there was a meeting called between her, and, let’s call them Lestrade, Mycroft, the Queen, and Mrs. Hudson. That would be the camp director, camp supervisor, and the two staff coordinators. Let it be known, I was on first-name basis with both director and supervisor before this summer, and the coordinators were fond of me since I worked hard and cheerfully to make up for my mostly-accidental naps.
Because I was the witness, the one who provided the evidence, AND the ‘consulting detective’ (I couldn’t resist during the investigation), I was called into this meeting as well.
I laid out the evidence, showed then the video and the money, and brought in each ‘accused’ person from the last two weeks so they could confirm that it was an act and I wasn’t a clueless but lucky idiot. Britney, in her blue plastic chair, was glaring at me with knives for eyes.
The time came for her to defend herself. She tried to spin some ridiculous story about me framing her. When that didn’t work, she tried to say I was her partner wanting the money to myself. First of all, I couldn’t resist saying at this point that she was acting like one of those buffoonish crooks from a TV show. That also didn’t work, and she said a few choice words to me for my comment.
Finally, they excused me from the room. After all, I was a big help, but I was just a staffer. It wasn’t appropriate for me to be in the room or contribute to their deliberations. I waited outside for a good 20 minutes before the door was slammed open so hard it almost hit my face (I will admit to trying to eavesdrop) and Britney walked out. When she saw me, I expected her to leap at me.
Britney did not leap at me. She cursed me out, said she’d ruin my social media accounts and call me out on all the ‘bad stuff’ I did and left. As she left, I yelled the best line I could come up with, ‘Crime never sleeps, but I certainly did!’
So, while I wasn’t in the room when she got fired, it was still satisfying to be part of that. Last I heard, Britney tried to reapply this year. Haha, nope. The bosses aren’t idiots and won’t rehire a thief.”