The Case of the Would-Be 'Cleaner'

A local business owner arrived at his office last Tuesday morning to find it burglarized. Just a few items, really: a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun with a laser sight, three .22 caliber rifles, a shotgun, and a .50 caliber rifle. Oh, and a cashbox with a faulty lock containing $20 in coins.

Although the busted cashbox left a trail of coins leading from the building to the street, it didn't help identify a suspect. However, the owner had a lead: He said that the cleaning company servicing his business had been training a new janitor, and the night of the robbery was the new guy's first time working by himself. The clues were adding up, so Knoxville police contacted the cleaning service.

The cleaning-service boss said the worker had called in at 9:30 p.m. on the night of the robbery to say that he had completed his tasks and was leaving for the night. He also had reported two suspicious persons loitering around the building.

One small problem with this seemingly air-tight alibi: The business hadn't actually been cleaned, the carpet had not been vacuumed, and nothing had been dusted. In fact, the only thing touched was a bust of Stonewall Jackson that had been moved away from a window. Another incriminating detail: The window had been busted out... with a golf club... from the inside.

The crime lab took prints and the suspect was taken into custody. It would appear he may not be cut out for either cleaning or stealing.