Usually, I’m left out of any discussion the others have. This time, when I pushed through the glass panelled door, the tenant who had used the spare key wanted answers to questions.
I had presumed the four of them were discussing the next date, payment – whatever. Turned out, they were discussing laptop, tablet, smartphone tracking. At least, the younger window cleaner was. He also said it must have been an inside job – looking at me. The elder one looked at me and said: “She did not know about a spare key and not where it is kept.”
When the window cleaners had arrived, the upstairs tenant had left for physiotherapy.
She had been absent for an hour – she claimed.
As stated earlier (part 1), her friend had collected the spare key, unlocked the room, closed the windows and …
Elder window cleaner said, he’d kind of seen where the spare key was. Kind of cupboard.
I thought: “What are they talking about? What’s going on?”
The issue: when my upstairs neighbour left, there had been a laptop in her room. When she returned, it had gone.
I stated the elder man and I had passed each other: he going downstairs, me going up to close my small window. I said his younger colleague had been downstairs with the brush and hose on a long pole, waiting for all the windows to be closed. Younger cleaner confirmed: I’d waved.
Turned out, there had been someone working on the bike-shed or garden, wherever at ground floor level as well. Apparently he’d been there before the cleaners arrived and during the cleaning.
I still do not know who it was, what he looked like, where he was working, what he did, when he left: I never saw him.
When the windows were clean, miss spare key had apparently asked the younger window cleaner to clean the roof terrace, at the top of the house. So that tallied with the voices I had heard wafting down, while I was sitting in a chair next to my closed windows, working on my sewing.
The younger window cleaner claimed every laptop, tablet, smartphone could be tracked. So stealing one was no use. A thief could be caught red-handed.
He wanted to show how it worked on his smartphone?
The victim at once blurted to miss spare key: “Is that your phone?”
Having had to cope with her for a while now, I know this is her usual attitude to all and sundry.
It still makes me cringe.
But by now, I have kind of managed not to show how upsetting I find such an attitude.
I knew I was innocent.
I could not believe the window cleaners were guilty.
Spare key’s smart phone was in a pocket of her trousers.
Some info between the smartphone owners was exchanged.
As I’d read about a laptop having been traced to an embassy last year, I supported the story of traceable laptops. Though I mentioned, it was probably modern ones.
That phones are traceable whenever, wherever – is by now common knowledge.
I asked if the front door had been open during the cleaning.
Sure enough: my earlier impression that it had been left open wide, was right.
Not that a closed front door is a problem. There are also plenty front door keys available and in circulation.
My theory was flawed, however.
That I had seen the door of the room open – while running upstairs, unlocking my door, ramming the window shut, locking my door, going down the stairs again – was disputed by spare key.
She was sure, she’d locked the door to the room.
I said I presumed she was inside, shutting the windows.
She disagreed. She had shut the door.
But she started to doubt: had it been locked?
The big flaw in my theory: the person would have had to know which floor and which door to try.
We were getting nowhere. Cleaners and I urged the other two tenants to try the tracking, search if the laptop was still in the house, notify the police.
The two other tenants went upstairs