Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Curious Case of Mr Meringue

Meet Mr Meringue (not his real name). Mr Meringue is a cantankerous older gentleman who has had a bit of a bad run with his vehicle. Namely, in that it has been stolen three times in the past four months.

Enter the detective. And that would be me.

The insurance company had a number of concerns regarding this latest incident and, as usual, my role was to make some enquiries as to the circumstances behind it.

The loss of his vehicle wasn't all that interesting. In fact it hadn't even been stolen, this time at least. Mr Meringue had gone to a local mall to have dinner and parked outside one entrance upon arrival. The problem was he left via another exit and his vehicle had not moved in the ensuing nine or so days until I found it.

No, the mystery concerns what Mr Meringue is actually up to...

My suspicions were first aroused while taking a statement from Meringue. A young female, around 18, and her shaven-headed hoodie-wearing boyfriend come slinking down the driveway past the window. Meringue immediately jumps up and says that they have come around to pick up a parcel that he has waiting for them as his address is closer to the depot.

That just makes no sense; couriers or postal services will deliver right to your door, no matter where you live.

Meringue closed the kitchen door but I could hear some shushing sounds. After several minutes the front door slams closed and Meringue returns.


Then we discuss the circumstances pertaining to the previous two thefts and, in both cases, a particular young woman features. In the first instance, this mystery woman gave Meringue an address to visit (not hers) if he ever wanted a cup of tea or coffee and while there one of the occupants took his car. It was later recovered several blocks away but no-one was ever charged. In the second instance, a male associate of this womanhelped himself to the car while Meringue was out, lifting a locked gate off its hinges and using a screwdriver to get into it. He later claimed that their mutual friend had told him it was alright to help himself to the car although what part of a locked gate and lack of keys says "I'm all yours"?

As it is, the young woman allegedly commited suicide shortly after the second incident, so could not be questioned further.


I was immediately thinking of a previous case (that of Mr Moody) where a prostitute had befriended a lonely older man and had insinuated herself into his life in order to obtain some advantage to her own situation.

This feeling was compounded over the next few days when I had tried phoning Mr Meringue and the phone was instead answered by a young woman who explained that Meringue was 'out'. When I later returned the vehicle to his address Meringue was again not at home, but there were three women in his house.

I don't know exactly what is happening in his home, but I suspect that Meringue is being paid to stay away for a number of hours during the week while his house is used for other purposes by these women. Also, he is using his address to receive parcels for others and, judging from his reaction at the time when the owners came to collect, Meringue perhaps had some idea of what he was involved with.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Mr Meringue's house was being used to sell drugs from, or perhaps something else equally as illicit. And I believe that Meringue is complicit in that he is knowingly allowing it to be used for this manner and is being recompensed somehow.

Now I could be completely wrong but there is something else. I inadvertantly saw some Police notes that I shouldn't have seen regarding Mr Meringue. It alluded to something quite dirty.

I didn't include this last part in my report to the Client, however, discretion being the better part of valour and all that.

At the end of the day whatever Mt Meringue is up to is none of my concern. My involvement started and ended with the (not) stolen car and the case has been well and truly closed.

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