(1938-07-24) To Catch a Thief - A Little Bit of B & E
Details for To Catch a Thief - A Little Bit of B & E
Summary: Phil decides to press her investigation forward and go to the apartment of the suspected thief, she invites Graham along for back up.
Date: 24 July 1939
Location: Darnell Glinch's Flat
Related: Plot: To Catch A Thief

A small elf owl delivers a note to Graham to meet Phil at an address in a seedy part of London and to come dressed darkly so as not to be noticed. The time stipulated he was to meet her after sunset.

When he arrives Graham is met by an unusual looking Phil. Her dark hair is pulled back and up underneath a grey wig. She is wearing a dirty, tattered old cloak and a pair of worn leather shoes. She also has a different body shape. When she speaks however, it is with Phil's voice. The street is dimly lit on ever half a block or so by a streetlamp nearly obscured by years of built up grime. Litter and rotting garbage line the gutters.

Graham approaches and has done as requested though is looking all of the muggle from this part of town. He has made some subtle changes perhaps not to look exactly like himself to not be recognized except by those who know him well and only really one person should in these parts the one he's seeking. "Good Evening." he says his voice his same as usual but without his normal namely greeting. He gives a tip of his hat which he doesn't wear often.

Phil takes his arm and begins to hobble town the sidewalk, moving as if she really were an old woman. She keeps her voice low so only he can hear it. "I have found him Graham. I pieced it all together and found him, he lives on this street amongst the Muggles. He lets a small flat there. I know you wouldn't want me to confront him alone so," she pauses and gives him a look out of the corner of her eye, "you're backup."

The figure who is Graham doesn't make anything of the other as they move down the street as if helping out. He listens giving a nod before he speaks also in lowered tone. "Very well, I must warn even auror's cant break the secrecy statute without very good reason." he warns knowing there is likely a better reason that this character is here then enjoying the view of the town especially in this part of it of all places.

Phil comes to a stop across the street from a building.

The building is old and tired looking as if it were being held up by sheer will alone. There are two floors with two small apartments on each floor. The one at the front of the building is where the landlord and his wife live. The lights are off in their apartment, indicating they have gone to bed. Just down the right side of the building is a narrow passageway.

Graham pauses in step with the other as she halts her movement. He looks across the street to get an idea of the layout of the building. It's an internal wince that it'll be tricky and he doesn't like taking actions near muggles if he can help it but he's had to before. "Seems quiet for the moment." he whispers again. The young man awaits her lead and perhaps makes it look less obvious as if giving the older lady a break from hard time walking.

"We will be careful. Most of the flats in the building are empty right now, it is just the older couple but they are in bed. I have been watching this place for several days." Phil starts to cross the road, being careful to make sure it is clear first. She makes her way towards the passageway, leaving Graham to follow or stay behind.

The auror is still a moment, but doesn't think he can remain so. Graham reaches into his sleeve removing his wand and with a quick tap on his head he casts a disillusionment charm wordlessly. It's now he's able to follow properly, not invisible but does take on the look of the background around him. "I'm still here." he whispers just in case she cant see him though he's moving along one of the walls of the passageway to blend in the best he can.

There are signs that someone has been using the passage way, some of the overgrown weeds have been trampled down. At the end of it the garden isn't much more to look at than the front of the building is; overgrown weeds and uncut grass mingle with discarded rubbish, old car tires, bits of rusted metal and broken furniture.

Phil nods her head to indicate she heard him but doesn't say anything. Strangely enough Phil is fairly good at hiding and moving stealthily herself. If he takes the time to think about it he might realise he has not been able to hear her shoes or clothing as she has been moving; thanks to a silencing charm Phil is able to sneak about.

A warped wooden door leads to the back of the building. It is propped open with an old chair, clearly someone wanted to get a draft into the building to cool the summer night air. It gives our intrepid adventurers the perfect opportunity.

Graham understands the response and moves along with the other. He can appreciate how she is able to move without making much sound for the moment. The door with the chair keeping it propped open gives him a pause. It seems too good to be true and this alley way doesn't exactly bring about pleasant feelings. He moves all the same providing back up after all this is her investigation and he's only here if he's needed in some way to make sure she's not harmed.

Phil takes a breath and then carefully moves inside, entering the open doorway.

The hallway is fairly dark, the only illumination coming from the moonlight entering through the open doorway. It is possible to just make out a door a few feet inside the back door. There is a faint shimmering quality to it, visible to those who know how to recognise magic.

That magical door gives Phil pause. She somehow wasn't expecting it. With a frown she turns and looks at the shadows behind her, suspecting Graham is there or near enough there.

The auror is nearby on the opposite wall. He has kept his wand wielded since entering, he notices the door's wards fairly quickly as well. Graham ponders a moment before he decides what's best to use at the moment. He gives his wand a bit of a swish and then a jab this time whispering the spell "Finite." at the same time as the jab.

As the spell is cast upon the door the shimmering fizzles and fades away. There is no shout or even sound from inside to indicate the person living there might have been aware of the alarming charm being disarmed.

Phil is thankful for Graham's help. She reaches under her cloak and with a gloved hand takes out her own wand. In a soft whisper she casts a spell on the lock, making the door swing open. It creaks a little which makes her freeze there in front of the now open door. When there is no sound from inside she makes her way into the dark apartment, carefully trying to not bump into any furniture. Once inside it is obvious that the apartment is empty, there is a feeling of silence about it.

Graham moves towards the now open door moving quietly and still against the wall. His wand in his hand is pointed at Phil which might be odd if he wasn't looking to defend her just in case. He inches forward pausing as the door creaks. He continues onwards as she does all the same keeping a careful watch on his friend.

There is a stifling staleness to the apartment as if it had been closed up since before the sun went down and nobody had been in to open the windows and let in cooler night air. The small, one bedroom apartment is filthy. Dirty dishes clutter surfaces and discarded clothes lie on the floor. Rather peculiarly there is a pile of handbags and women's coats in the corner, just visible through the dingy light that is coming in through the thin lace curtain covering the window.

"There," whispers Phil as she moves quickly towards the pile of women's things. "It is the proof I have been after. The proof you can take to your superiors and ensure he is put on trial for his crimes." She takes a scrap of parchment from her cloak and looks at it. "All I need is something in this pile that is on my list of stolen items and we have him." There are other clues in the apartment, clues Graham would be more trained to look for than Phil.

Piles of correspondence sit on a table and there are some wizarding photos hanging on the wall.

The auror finally steps into the room still not letting his guard down. The young man looks over the place and shakes his head at the state of things, but he does notice some things which are a bit off. He goes to look at the parchments which are on the table reaching down to look them over a moment before also glancing towards the photo's. He grabs something which looks like a receipt with the person's signature on it. "Got something he signed his name with and looks like he's got some photo's as well." he voice is still lowered.

Phil looks up from where she is crouched on the floor, rummaging through the pile of stolen goods. "I have a witness who said his name was Darnell Glinch. Does that match with what you found?" She stands up and moves to close the door to the apartment so they won't get a sudden surprise. "There is much more here than I expected. There are at least twenty handbags and twice as many wallets. He had quite a racket going. But I don't know where it all went. This place is disgusting." She tucks her wand and her list away and pulls a tiny camera out of a pocket inside her cloak. She snaps some photos of a few of the stolen items that are on her list.

"It does seem to match yes." He answers still looking through the items to see if anything else will jump out at him as clues to where he'll be hiding if he figures out his place has been compromised. Graham sighs slightly before answering "Likely with many either drink or gambling he could owe someone money." he rattles off a few of the common things which have large income but nothing to show for it once the debit is paid.

Phil snaps her photos using the small magical camera. "Maybe that's what it is, a drug problem or gambling one.
Gambling can be very addictive and I don't see anything in here to hint at drugs." She snaps another photo, this time of a cheap looking necklace. "He seems to be keeping things that have little to no value, so I suppose he is flogging the more expensive stuff or taking it to a fence."

The filthy apartment does illicit more clues if Graham were to start looking in drawers and cupboards. The family photographs show the missing wizard in front of a house that looks to be in one of the run down residential areas of Diagon Alley.

Graham looks through a few more things "I'd not be surprised the manner of this guy's crime shows little thought and to make it work he'd need a quick return on items which had value." The auror says as he sets things back down and begins to look a bit further though the apartment. He opens a few drawers and is moving looking for more clues that he can offer to her to make her case with. The young man's eye catches a photograph. "Hm interesting this family picture looks like it's from Diagon alley. Does that help at all?" he moves to meet up with the other and show the picture

Phil looks at the photo as she tucks her camera away again. "Those look like his parents. I bet they don't know what he has been up to and judging by the look of this place his mother doesn't visit either." She looks at Graham. "Do you think this is enough to arrest him and try him for using the memory charms on those poor witches?"
As he rummages Graham finds chits to several betting shops; both wizarding and Muggle. It seems our culprit has been betting on quidditch, horse racing and greyhound racing. None of which is illegal, but very expensive. He hasn't found any evidence of the thief having a job to fund these bets.

"With all this, I really dont see how you wouldn't be able to. You have motive evidence and witnesses." He looks a bit more turning around to his friend chuckling slightly "Credit slips. He has been racking up some debit in gambling." Graham is silent a moment but he does add after a moment "You may want to see about getting a healer on as a expert witness they can remove the memory charms on the people right there and that'd about end any consent to have these items."

Phil nods, "That's a good idea. I can ask at the hospital. The women were too ashamed to go to Mungo's, maybe I can convince them otherwise now." She slips her gloved hands into her pockets. "I guess this is where I hand it over to you. I don't want to do anything which could jeopardise his being convicted. Do you want me to send you the files I have?"

Graham nods "I hope they are able to do so. I mean with all this you'd likely still win, but with that how can anyone see it any differently?" He chuckles though is careful not to make to much noise, he looks about the place "We probably shouldn't spend too much more time here we dont have a look out to know if someone is coming."
"I have what I came for, though I would have liked to confront him that is a bit too dangerous. Let's go. Do you think you can rest the charm on the door?" She looks around one last time and checks to make sure she left things as they were before moving towards the door.

"I think I can do that, yes. Really only an approach charm." Graham says though he looks to the other "Yes it would be to dangerous cornered animals and all that. Not saying you cant handle yourself. Just don't like friends being hurt." he grins and moves out of the room to make sure the coast is clear for their escape from the filthy house.

Phil is happy to follow Graham's lead as they leave. She leans forward, already adopting the posture and movement of a much older woman, happy to get out of the filthy apartment and the unpleasant part of town.
As they leave they encounter no resistance, the charm was something simple which Graham is able to replicate. It is clearly, as Graham suggested, this thief is no great professional but someone looking for a quick turnover to feed his addiction.

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