Jackman looked up when he heard the door open. He placed the report on his desk and greeted his old Army buddy Crazy Ned with a handshake.
“I see by the Tesla in the yard that you scored a big repo,” Crazy Ned said as he sat down and pulled a Camel from the pack in his pocket.
“Yeah, the finance company is very happy with that one. I had to go to Vegas to pick it up, but it was worth my time,” the repo man replied.
Crazy Ned always liked to talk about their time in the 82nd Airborne, and Jackman listened, nodded his head and agreed with him, before asking, “so what brings you to the neighborhood on this fine day”?
“I want to run an idea by you,” Crazy Ned told him. Crazy Ned did not have a regular job. He picked up what he called freelance work. Jackman and Crazy Ned worked security jobs and private executive protection when needed.
“I hope it pays as well as that last job we did in Laos,” Jackman stated. They made $10,000 each for that job.
“This is much better, but it’s shaky,” Crazy Ned said as he lit his cigarette. Jackman watched him take a drag before he told Crazy Ned that he didn’t want to do anything that might jeopardize his repo license.
Crazy Ned told him that there was some risk involved, but with Jackman’s repo skills, the job he had in mind would be a piece of cake. He told him that he had been contacted by a rich dude from Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi found out that a car used in the television series Hawaii Five-O was stored in a garage in Honolulu, and all they had to do was steal the car, drive it to a warehouse a few blocks away and pick up $25,000 each from the Saudi.
Crazy Ned had done a little research on the Mercury, and found that a car magazine had listed the name of the shop where the car was stored at in a story that it printed. He gave the name to Jackman and Jackman said he would run the name in his computer and see if he could come up with an address.
Jackman told his buddy to give him a day or two to think about it, and he would call him if he decided that he was in on this caper.
Three days after their meeting in Jackman’s office, Crazy Ned and Jackman landed at the airport in Honolulu. They spent part of their first day watching videos of Hawaii Five-O, a TV show that aired in the late 1960’s thru the mid 1970’s. “Why does McGarrett always wear a blue suit in this heat and humidity”? Crazy Ned wanted to know.
“Beats me,” Jackman replied. “I’m just a simple skip tracer myself, but this McGarrett is a genius when it comes to solving crimes. The dude goes to the whiteboard with a magic marker and in ten minutes, he has solved the crime by laying it out on the board.”
“Yeah, and I really dig the way he says book-em Danno to the curly haired ass kisser that rides along with him when they’re fighting crime,” Crazy Ned added.
That night they left for the car shop dressed as tourists wearing shorts and Hawaiian shirts. Crazy Ned said he felt goofy wearing a knit ski mask as they got close to the shop, but Jackman advised him that the shop might have cameras.
Jackman carried a set of master keys for Mercury’s manufactured in the 1970’s in a canvas bag. He had sent the keys and his lock picks ahead to the hotel by UPS, so he would not have to answer any questions from TSA agents at the airport.
Jackman disconnected the burglar alarm, and opened the door to the shop using the lock pick that he carried in the bag. Crazy Ned scanned the garage with his flashlight as they moved slowly through the cars and auto parts that were scattered around the shop.
Jackman reached for the light switch at the same time as they heard what sounded like a rifle being cocked. Jackman flipped the switch and both of the would-be car thieves saw a short Hawaiian man that was built like a fire hydrant.
The man was holding a short-barreled lever action rifle when he ordered them to lay face down on the floor. The man dialed his cell phone and identified himself as an off-duty police officer before he asked the dispatcher to send a police unit to the garage.
Jackman and Crazy Ned stared at each other when the off-duty cop said to the uniformed officer, “Book-em Danno.”
Leroy B. Vaughn is a retired skip tracer and trained observer. He is not the 1950’s hillbilly singer, motorcycle cop from Orange County California or the dentist from Los Angeles, all with the same name.