January 22, 2018

Glazier’s Log : Forensics to the “Fore”!

The Serial Golf BallBalls. Cricket balls, footy balls, soccer balls, golf balls and marbles (fired from slingshots), even sluggish ten-pin-bowling balls have been known to break windows. In fact balls collectively account for 14% of our domestic work and 2% of our commercial. A further breakdown reveals the fact that golf balls are the worst offenders and provide us with 8% of the above proportion.Inanimate objects they may be, but in the hands of the inexperienced, criminally inclined or seriously insane, they become lethal projectiles. But back to golf balls. They’ve been known to end up on people’s dinner tables – sometimes interrupting a meal – and people have even found them in their beds: thus solving the mystery of the broken window.

I was kept busy for about a month not so long ago by the mysterious “Serial Golf Baller”, as he came to be known. Occurring in the CBD with the broken windows being mostly high up in multi-storied buildings, a mix of commercial and apartment blocks, it caused the police no end of headaches. The downtown residents were perplexed. These apparently random acts of violence became a rallying cry (or at least a topic of intense mutual interest) between imbibers in local bars, restaurants and cafés. Theories abounded and were embellished with every downing of pint and pinot. Those hovering over their lattés in the cafés would tell of golf balls being discovered in quite bizarre locations. Hmmm. And the police? – they were flummoxed.

Fortunately, a senior detective sergeant with old fashioned, Sherlock Holmsian tendencies had started plotting the trajectories of the now some 200 errant balls – many were found rolling down the streets. Thus, he narrowed the origin of these missiles down to a clump of high rises and surmised the balls had been teed off from the top of one of them. There being no one yet killed from these missiles, there was little credit to be had from solving this case, but our Det. Sgt. was a plodder. The Serial Golf Baller had launched his balls only late on Friday and Saturday nights, so each weekend our man, securely harnessed up on the very peak of the tallest building in the area, scanned the high-rise tops through night vision glasses. His focus was sharpened when, after a pleasant day’s golfing with a visiting contingent of the Japanese constabulary, he was made aware of the Japanese obsession with night golf driving ranges. With some ground floor research, he was able to narrow down his search to a certain Japanese businessman who, nightly lit by several bottles of sake, used the roof top of his office block for his practice. A large sum of money was paid, apologies and diplomacy applied and suddenly no more windows were being broken.


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