Davis Conover: Self-Employed Scammer
By Mike Stevens
Davis Conover had a little less life in his step. He was now middle aged, and the face that stared back at him from the bathroom mirror was creased and etched with the pain of failure. He’d just spent the last 15 years as the guest of the State of Washington. There in The Walla Walla State Prison, he was known better as Prisoner 899, than as Davis. This was the second prison term he’d endured. The first, he’d incurred by telling a widow he could ‘speak’ to her deceased husband, only it was a cop, not the dead spirit of the woman’s husband who’d answered; and the words he’d answered with told Davis he’d better get used to being someone’s b***h for the next 10-15. He’d somehow managed to avoid that unfortunate fate by being a living goiter. He’d always known his lack of looks would pay off someday. Then, he’d tried to lighten a lady’s financial burden by stealing $100,000 that she had asked him to deposit for her. He’d gotten the money, but plum forgot he was supposed to deposit it in her account, and tried to leave the bank, only the same pain-in-the-a** detective had caught him again, and he’d received 15 more years in prison; but this time, there would be no time off for good behavior.
He’d served the whole 15 years that time, and now he was 50. He’d been 25 when he’d claimed he could channel the dead for that widow, he’d been 35 when he’d been caught trying to scam a woman out of $100,000 bucks, and now he was 50, and the only skill he had was making license plates. He needed to plan for his retirement. He had the perfect retirement plan. He was going into the used car business!
He had forged ownership papers for his neighbor’s custom-built luxury car. Then he had run over to his house in a well-acted panic, begging the guy to let him borrow the car. He didn’t give the guy time to stop and think why a neighbor he barely knew needed to borrow his fine automobile; and a neighbor who lived in a run-down rental house behind another nice house to boot. He just took one look at Davis’s supposedly-panicked face, saying he had a family emergency, and had reacted just the way Davis had known he would. He handed him the keys, with the warning to be careful. People where SO gullible! He’ just handed over the keys to his expensive car, because he wanted to help a guy in personal crisis; which is where he would find himself , after Davis sold it.
Davis had already gotten the VIN number by sneaking out to find it in the middle of the night. He’d acquire the registration number, and fill in the forged ownership papers at the local library; it was all so easy!
He had already placed an ad in the buy/sell classifieds, and had gotten a call from a grandfather, who was looking to buy a car for his granddaughter. He had handed the guy some bulls**t story about not being free to meet him until today, and today, he had done his masterful acting job on his neighbor. As he drove, he congratulated himself on thinking this plan up. He was already making plans to do the same thing in the next state he moved to.
He’d made arrangements to meet the guy in a park-and-ride bus station. He had packed a suitcase, and as soon as the transfer had been made, he was going to hop on the next bus, no matter where it was headed, and then catch another bus out of the state. He had made arrangements to meet at 1.00, and he was a little early. He scanned the parking lot for a likely-looking dude. He wasn’t here yet. As he was scanning, a station wagon pulled up. All he had to do was sign his fake name to the forged ownership papers, collect the guy’s money, watch the hapless dude drive off, and hop on board a bus going it mattered not where, and then flee the state. It was perfect! He watched the station wagon roll up and park, and a silver-haired gentleman got out. He looked vaguely familiar to Davis, which should have set off warning bells in his mind, but all he could see was the profit he was about to make, selling someone else’s car! As soon as the guy saw Davis’s face, he exclaimed,
“You!” Davis looked at the guy again; then he remembered; Detective Larry Mars!
“I’m retired from the force, but I can call someone who’s not!” S**t!