Jul 28 2008
If you’re interested in writing crime-based fiction, Modus Operandi: a writer’s guide to how criminals work is definitely worth your time. For example, if your police officer were investigating the theft of a truck and the merchandise inside, the book suggests considering these possibilities…
- Searching for shoe and heel prints on the merchandise cartons
- Using the distance on the odometer to estimate where the thieves may have unloaded the goods
- Interviewing warehouse employees, gas station attendants, and road servicemen
- Dusting for fingerprints (particularly on the mirrors, steering wheel and dashboard)
I also loved the book’s trivia and red-flags. For example, car manufacturers usually only transport one make of vehicle in car-carriers. If a carrier has more than one make, that’s a red flag to police that it’s being used to transport stolen vehicles. My favorite bit of trivia, though, was that thieves will sometimes carry “ninja rocks.” Those are small porcelain cubes that can silently break glass. According to Wikipedia, they’re illegal in California because they are considered to be tools of theft.