The Corona lockdown had confined Harry to his small flat. He was not sure he would get back his job as an electrician. His company had decided to cut down their labour force drastically. He was now running short of cash and would soon have to starve as his employer had not paid him last month’s salary. Harry’s mind turned to the occupation at which he was adept.
“A leopard cannot change its spots,” he thought.
In his late teens Harry was arrested for a house break in. He had robbed a woman living alone and decamped with her jewellery. When trying to sell the gold at a jeweller’s shop the owner grew suspicious as Harry hemmed and hawed when asked details about the ornaments. The police were summoned and Harry was promptly arrested and sent to jail.
“I’m going to make the most of my stay in prison,” he thought, “I’m sure these prisoners have many skills.”
It was a murder convict who got him interested in key making. Harry was a quick learner.
After his discharge from prison, he decided to specialize in the art of making duplicate keys. He learnt the procedure from a video on YouTube, and bought himself an automatic key cutting machine. He also bought a bunch of shaft keys from which the duplicates could be made. He’d plan his attacks carefully taking note of houses where the occupants were at work or on holiday. He would also visit vacant houses posing as a potential tenant and borrow the keys for which he made duplicates. When the houses were occupied, he would burgle them and rob things of value. Harry had not been caught so far. People knew him as a nice and honest electrician with a steady job.
During the lockdown there was strict curfew between 7 p.m and 7 a.m. The roads would be empty. He knew there were several houses where the occupants had left town on business or visits. Because of the sudden lockdown they were unable to return home.
It was past midnight when Harry dressed in black, with a cap on his head and a mask covering most of his face, stepped out into the street, his bag with necessary equipment secured on his back. He successfully burgled two houses and was prowling around for a third, when a police patrolling car came cruising down the road.
“Good Grief! I have no place to hide.”
Barely had the thought crossed his mind when two policemen had him in their grip. He was driven to the police station and given a good thrashing. Apart from the stuff he had looted, his bag contained hundreds of duplicate keys and some shaft keys on a ring.
Poor Harry was not Covid positive. But as a punishment the heartless police threw him into quarantine with a group of prisoners who were all Covid positive. Harry is languishing there in a state of fear and anxiety.
“Am I going to die from this virus? God save me. I promise to live an honest life in future.”
In answer, he saw the sniggers of the quarantined prisoners. A cold shiver ran down his spine.