#31 - It's This Because It Isn't That

Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 6:56 pm by LaLonde

In 1989 I was burglarized at my place of business in downtown Honolulu. I learned that a burglary is when you aren’t present as opposed to a robbery which is when you are there when it occurs. I would rather have a robbery because you see the person robbing you, as long as you don’t get hurt.

The reason I wished that I was there is because you spend days and days thinking who might have burglarized you, and in your mind convict everyone from the janitor to your best friends. It’s very stressful. I had a girlfriend back then and she came up with about 10 different scenarios of people with motive, ability and access. These were all my best friends and acquaintances. I could never sleep.

After a year of this back and forth stuff, the police finally came up with a lead. Now this was after the police investigated me for the last year, mainly because they had no leads and there is a large amount of jewelry thefts that are self-inflicted so that they can collect the insurance money.

The police got in touch with me and asked me to look at an array of pictures to see if I recognized anyone.

I went to the Honolulu Police Department and sat down to look at six pictures. I thought quickly and realized this the same way The GIA Gem School taught us to identify gems.

If I am looking at a gem and its color is red, I can immediately discount any green, blue, or yellow stones and concentrate on the five or so red stones that it could be. I can do a test for single or double refractive and narrow it to two stones and another test to weed out one of the two. So, with all that, it isn’t that one, so it has to be the only remaining option.

I quickly adopted this procedure in looking at the police lineup.

I first scanned the pictures and had an idea, but rather than shooting from the hip, I went back to eliminate the five others. This one has too thin of a face, that one has too pudgy of a face, that one’s nose is too big, another has ears that are too small. After going thru the six pictures and eliminating five, it has to be the sixth. It turned out that it was a police officer and his friend, a locksmith. Both had been in my office casing my operation and that is how I recognized the man in the photo.

This is the procedure that the Gem Institute teaches.

So, when I watch the police shows and they have someone looking at a lineup and in the first second they shout out “ it’s number 3”, I yell at the TV and say “take your time and think like a gemologist.”

Written by Daniel J. LaLonde

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