During the summer of 1967 in Evanston, Illinois, police found Mrs. Beulah Parker’s diamonds buried in her neighbor’s back yard. Mr. Fred Smith was taken into custody and spent two nights at the station, answering questions and denying wrongdoing.
Mr. Smith claimed to have no knowledge of Mrs. Parker’s precious gemstones and jewelry. As a successful banker, he argued, he saw no motive for the crime on his part. Officer Wright did not see it that way, and Mr. Parker spent a third night at the county lock-up.
The next morning, Mrs. Parker arrived as soon as the station doors were unlocked.
“You’ve got the wrong man! Mr. Parker did not steal my diamonds,” she cried as she unfastened the clasp on her purse.
A brown squirrel clambered out of her handbag and took off across the booking desk. Wright and his officers spent the next two hours apprehending the squirrel.
Afterwards, Mrs. Parker explained. Her dressing table was next to her bedroom window. Due to the heat, she had been leaving the window slightly open. Outside the window was a large, sprawling maple tree, which the squirrel used to gain access to the house.
“Just yesterday, I came out of the shower to find this little squirrel fumbling with one of my rings,” she proclaimed.
Officer Wright was suspicious at first, but Mrs. Parker’s husband added his testimony as an eye witness. With that, Mr. Smith was released, Officer Wright closed the case, and Mrs. Parker recovered all of her jewelry.