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The Tampa Job: Ep. 3 "Matchstick Men"

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The room is dark as he wakes up to the sound of his phone ringing, he groans as he clutches it, “Hello…ok, I’m getting up now. I’ll be there in 35.”

He slowly gets out of bed as to not disturb his girlfriend, which was a futile effort because she turns over and asks, “Where you going?”

Surprised he turns to her and lightly strokes her hair, “Duty calls, those guys just conned more people. But it’s only a matter of time before their luck runs out.” He stands up and heads for the bathroom. Getting in the shower the cool water is refreshing on such a hot Tampa night. After the quick shower he proceeds to put on his uniform.

While he dresses his girlfriend remakes, “Kevin, you know how much I worry about you? These people will do anything to get away.”

He turns around, leaning on the bed while touching her cheek and whispers, “I know you worry, but I know how to take care of myself. Besides, who’ll make fun of those freckles if something happens to me?”

She laughs and playfully hits him with a pillow, “Oh come on, I know you love my freckles.”

Smiling he says, “Monica, I love every last one.”

Officer Kevin Callis pulls up to the scene. Outside the Laundromat his partner Eddie Cortez already interviewing the victims nods him over, “…don’t worry Mr. Taylor we’ll catch the guys who robbed you soon enough…Kevin, what took ya so long?”

“Sorry, Monica…she worries about me.”

Eddie laughs, “She better get used to it if she’s gonna marry a cop. When you gonna pop the question anyway?”

Kevin staring out into space utters, “I don’t know...I’m just waiting for the right moment.”

Eddie smiles and says, “Well don’t wait too long. Anyway, the initial investigation confirms it’s the work of the same two guys.”

Kevin shakes himself back to reality and remakes, “These guys again, how’ve we not caught them yet? They’ve been on a crime spree for the past week and a half.”

Eddie quietly whispers, “They aren’t your everyday conmen, it’s like they just disappeared into thin air…like ghosts.”

Kevin laughs, “Come on Eddie, get a grip. Their just guys like you and me. I don’t care how good they are, we’re gonna catch ‘em. Anyway, what con did they run this time?”

Eddie checks his notes and replies, “Lottery fraud by proxy.”

Kevin looks at him and can’t help but laugh. Eddie confused asks, “What’s so funny?”

Kelvin pulling himself together says, “Lottery fraud by proxy…at a Laundromat.”

Eddie still confused continues, “And your point is?”

“Matchstick Men…haven’t you seen the movie Matchstick Men?”

“Yeah so…”

Kevin a little annoyed explains, “Well in the movie Nicolas Cage is a conman who teaches his daughter that exact con at a Laundromat.”

Eddie not amused says, “Look man. The victim, Mr. Taylor, he’s old and probably living on a fixed income. I doubt he’s spending his money to go out to the movies. So forgive me if I don’t find the situation amusing.”

Kevin straightening up a bit says, “Come on man, you gotta admit it’s a little funny.”

“Nope”

“Come on…”

Eddie rubs his eyes then looks up at Kevin, “Aright, it was a little funny. But you gotta admit it’s also pretty messed up for Mr. Taylor.”

Kevin now completely serious looks his partner in the eyes, “All jokes aside, these guys are obviously mocking us and hurting innocent people in the process. I’m gonna make sure we catch them if it’s the last thing I do.”

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