Posted on 08 Oct 2023 @ 7:10 by Deputy Sheriff III Arran Jaqobis
614 words; about a 3 minute read
Location: Village Hardware, Wanchese
Timeline: 03 APR 2023, 0817
"Justice, 323," the dispatcher's voice announced over the radio.
"323 receiving, Justice," Arran spoke back into the mike as he sat by the side of the road in patrol car.
"323, respond to 2991 State Route 345 in Wanchese it'll be the Village Hardware for an ATM alarm."
"Affirmative, Justice, 323 responding ATM alarm. Anyone on site?" It was an automatic question - gain any extra detail possible before heading out to the location given.
"I attempted to give the store a call but no response from inside. You're responding eight-seventeen."
"Thanks! Headed out," confirmed Arran, and replaced the mike. Starting up the engine, he pulled away from the kerb and did exactly what he'd just told dispatch.
It wasn't too long a drive across to Wanchese, out on Roanoke Island, and the little store behind a garage forecourt. Open ground, right onto the 345, but three ways off the island and that was only the options by land vehicle. He looked across for any obvious sign of trouble or vandalism as he pulled off the road and parked up.
Nothing but an old fella with a dog sat by the kerb eating a bag of peanuts and a steady random collection of vehicles pulling in and out of the garage.
"Morning Bill," Arran said, and the old guy nodded at him. Bill was deaf, unconcerned by the alarm going off right behind him, but receptive to a ruffle of his dog's ears and a quick exchange in ASL.
'Nope. Just hungry.'
Arran noted the red box ATM stood outside the store to the furthest right of the little units, and seeing nothing overtly dangerous or damaged, stepped inside. He was greeted by the sounds of a heated argument between customer and shop worker and an answer to at least a couple of his first questions.
"I'm on the phone to them now!" Shouted the twenty-something behind the counter. "What did you do?"
"I didn't DO anything to it!!" Yelled the middle-aged woman. "I just need cash."
"Did you hit the keypad, ma'am? Maybe kick it?" Then the young man saw Arran stride in and visibly tensed.
"I didn't do ANYTHING to it!!" Shouted the woman with her back to the door. "It's broken. You fix it. I need my money."
Arran cleared his throat and, hands clear of his weapons, put himself front and centre in the conversation.
"Officer! I need my money," said the woman. "I need this sorting now!"
With a tolerant smile, Arran held up his hands to both stall her conversational drama and demonstrate that he planned to solve this peacefully. "How 'bout we step back a bit," he told her, and having already clocked the store worker's name-tag, added. "Let Tony here speak to them. Can I see your ID, please ma'am."
"I know his name, I don't know yours." Arran said, simply and calmly. Plus he was curious to see her wallet, on account of this was his second call to this ATM in the last ten days.
"Here," she said, a little haughtily, and all now being well, Arran, Tony and Geraldine Palmer waited as the ATM's wailing and screaming was silently killed by remote intervention.
"Let's make sure it's all working now," Arran noted calmly a few minutes later, making an internal note to talk to Tony after Mrs P was done. With ruffled feathers and an impatient non-verbal bunch of sounds, Geraldine Palmer went about her business - this time successfully - of retrieving cash under friendly police escort and Arran had a follow-up friendly calm-down chat with the young man behind the counter.
"323 to Justice," he called back in. "Situation resolved, show me clear."