Three hours later after hitting all of her old stomping grounds, Kelly said, “I don’t know where else to go other than some places we used to go for dinner.”
“No, let’s concentrate on the places she went almost daily,” Kathy countered. “We’ll cover them several times before trying elsewhere. Let’s walk back to Starbucks.”
“Okay, young people use it as hangout-pickup place after 5 PM. There was one guy, I remember, who didn’t seem to fit in with the crowd, but was nearly always there by himself.”
“If he is a bad guy, he will recognize you because of the many times you were here with Sally. He probably has some information about you, at least your picture. Fortunately, whoever spotted Sally didn’t select you. You failed the blonde test and you have that don’t-mess-with-me look. What I’m getting around to is we should split up before going in and no contact inside. I’ll go in first and get pick a spot where I can see you come in. Give me ten minutes and come in but first describe this possible thug.”
“He’s Mediterranean type. Short dark hair. Dark eyes. Five-eight or nine. 145 pounds. Slouches when standing. No visible tats. Dress is closer to workman than student. Drinks espresso coffee.”
“All that from casual observance?” Kathy smiled.
“I had a good teacher, big sister.”
Kathy winked and said, “See ya,” over her shoulder as she walked off.
There was a line in front of the counter, a few empty tables inside, a few more outside. Kathy got a tall French roast and took the last table for two. She put her bag on the other chair to discourage anyone from joining her. She could see the entry but not well. Just before the ten-minute mark, Kathy saw a man fitting Kelly’s description exactly enter and get in line. Kelly came in a few minutes later and looked around. She saw Kathy but gave no notice. The man she described spotted Kelly and moved into the amateur surveillance mode of “I’m watching you but no one can tell.” To a pro like Kathy, it was almost laughable. For whatever reason, this guy was interested in Kelly. When he could see no one was with her, his intensity backed off some. Kathy got his picture from different angles.
Kathy left the shop, spotted Kelly’s car just a half block down Craig Street and walked toward it. On the way out of the busy entrance, she had slipped Kelly a note, saying, “We’re going to follow this guy. Come out behind him.” After 15 minutes, Kelly came out 30 seconds after the mark. Kathy saw the mark cross the street and get into a pale blue Ford Taurus with Pennsylvania plates. She noted the numbers and took photos. As he pulled out, Kelly came out and slid behind the wheel. She made a U-turn in the middle of the block and kept the Taurus in sight.
“I don’t think this guy is a pro and I doubt he has had any counter-surveillance training, but he may have good street smarts. So treat him with respect,” Kathy said to Kelly. “Not too close but don’t take a chance on losing him. We may never find him again.”