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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2007
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Cody, Tip and the Rusty Truck Mystery
Chapter 8: A Break in the Case
8th of a 9-part series

By Melanie B. Smith
msmith@decaturdaily.com · 340-2468

The story so far: Cody Dillon has told his dad what he thinks has been bothering his dog, Tip. Could guys driving a rusty blue truck matter to a dog?

Cody’s dad thinks a minute.

“Tell you what, son. I’ll check with the Police Department when I get to the newsroom. Maybe they know of some guys driving a rusty truck who go around trying to hit dogs, but it seems far-fetched.”

Tip looks up, turns one lopsided circle and then dips her head to eat from her bowl.

Cody’s dad, who saw the motion, shakes his head. Cody shrugs.

The next morning, before Cody’s dad can telephone the police, he gets a fax from the department about an arrest the night before. A couple of guys were caught stealing aluminum cans from someone’s recycle bin. The charge is a misdemeanor, but both of them had warrants for other crimes. They are still in jail.

Cody’s dad thinks, “Sounds like dumb crooks, stealing drink cans. This might make a good news brief.”

Cody’s dad calls the Police Department.

“Yeah, those two guys had a bunch of aluminum cans,” Officer Nicholas explains. “It turns out they were stealing from recycle bins, mostly at night. Most people put their recyclables out early, you know.

But what was funny, to be thieves, they were driving the most noticeable truck you could imagine. It was really rusty and had a loud motor. The noise is how a homeowner caught them.”

“A rusty truck with a loud motor?” Cody’s dad asks Officer Nicholas.

“Yeah, and these guys were wearing sunglasses. That made them look even more suspicious. It was after midnight.”

“Hey, I can’t believe it!” Cody’s dad says.

He explains about the loud, rusty truck that his son has seen and heard in their neighborhood — and how Cody saw the driver almost hit Tip just before a store owner rushed out complaining about stolen sunglasses.

“And after our dog went missing, someone found her tied up in a bag. We don’t know who did it, but I’m really wondering about these guys.” Cody dad says.

Officer Nicholas agrees to check further.

Late in the day, the officer calls Cody’s dad.

“It looks like you were right about those aluminum thieves,” the police officer says. “And wait until you hear about your dog!”

THE DAILY’s NEWSPAPER IN EDUCATION LINK: Find a picture of an animal in the newspaper. Make up a story about how its owners might feel if the animal were someone’s pet and went missing or was abused.

(Alabama Standard: English/Language Arts — Write in a variety of modes to express meaning.)

More: Look in The Daily on page A2. What is the weather forecast? If the story were taking place in the daytime today, would the men in the truck need sunglasses?

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