“’Robbery! Robbery!’ a voice screamed from the hallway. ‘Someone has stolen my masterpiece!’ De’Livito yelled, worry on his face. ‘How will I ever find it?’”
May 17th, 2014, 2:47 p.m.
Albany, New York
A great piece of art called, “The Finch,” was about to be revealed today at 2:50. Crowds gathered all around to see this masterpiece.
The clock ticked slowly. Each tick filled with anticipation and wonder. Finally the clock read 2:50, and the curtains dropped. Their mouths agape when they saw it. Nothing. Behind the curtains was pitch black. Nothing to be seen.
“Robbery! Robbery!” a voice screamed from the hallway. “Someone has stolen my masterpiece!” De’Livito yelled, worry on his face. “How will I ever find it?”
Thankfully, a security guard turned around to find a person in a dark cloak running. A painting next to him.
“Thief!” the guard yelled. The chase was on.
The owner, Se’delava, quickly ushered his guards to chase the thief. The guards quickly took off.
“I hope they catch this fool. That painting cost a fortune.”
Crashing through paintings and exquisite pottery, the thief seemed determined.
He knocked over another beautiful sculpture made out of glass, creating an ear splitting shatter, as glass covered the ground.
Defeat hovered over the guards heads as they turned back. The art thief had won that day.
May 18th, 2014, 6:22 p.m.
Joplin Family Residence
Albany, New York:
Lucas threw the football to Van. It sailed through the air, and Van surprisingly managed to catch it. He threw it back to Lucas, and Lucas got hit in the face with the football and fell to the ground.
“You alright?” Van asked Lucas, giving him a hand.
“Yeah I’m fine. Just surprised me, that’s all.”
“Lucas and Van Joplin! Come into the house this instant!” a voice sounded from the inside.
“Okay, Mom!” Lucas and Van said in unison, and started to walk to their house.
“What did you do this time?” Lucas said pushing Van, a smile on his face.
Van gave him a shove too as they walked inside.
“Dinner time!” Van and Lucas’s Mom yelled from the kitchen.
“Don’t scare us like that, Mom.” Lucas said. “We thought you found Dad’s bowling ball that we scratched.
“What?!” their mom yelled without thinking.
“Oh, nothing…” Van said as he pushed Lucas away from their Mom.
“Anyway boys, check this out,” their mom said as she turned the TV on to show a reporter was talking.
“I am standing outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. There has been a robbery where a new painting called, “The Finch” has been stolen. Mr. De’Livito is devastated. If you see the painting or someone acting suspicious, please call 9-1-1.”
Lucas and Van’s Mom shut off the TV.
“De’Livito!” Lucas exclaimed.
“Who?” Van asked.
“Our neighbors next door. You know crazy Maggie?”
“Yes,” Van said.
“She’s Maggie De’Livito.”
“Maggie is NOT crazy,” their Mom said. “You’ve just never met her. In fact, you’re going to go over there and say sorry that her father lost his painting.”
“Aw, Mom! But…” Lucas didn’t even finish his sentence.
“No buts. You’ll go in the morning.”
May 19th, 2014, 9:33 a.m.
Albany, New York
Maggie groggily got out of bed. She put on her glasses, went downstairs, poured herself a bowl of cereal, and waited for her parents to get back from New York.
The doorbell rang, and Maggie rushed to the door. Had her parents really come back so early? But it wasn’t her parents. She opened the door to find her next door neighbor, Lucas, standing there.
“Um…hey,” Lucas said. His eyes wide like he expected no one to open the door.
“Hi? What do you want?” Maggie inquired.
“I just wanted to say sorry for your dad losing his art to the jerk thief,” Lucas started. “Can I come in?”
“Sure,” Maggie said and opened the door a little bit wider for him.
“Wow…” Lucas said, eyeing all the paintings. “Your dad definitely does a lot of painting in his free time.
“Yeah I always come home from school to find three new paintings hanging up in my room,” Maggie chuckled.
“What does your mom do?”
“Oh, she’s the owner of De’Livito Tech,” Maggie said.
“I would have never guessed…” Lucas said, rolling his eyes.
“Oh, this is one he did recently,” Maggie said starting up the conversation again. She pointed to one of the attacks of 9/11 her father had done five days ago, showing planes hitting the twin towers and people running everywhere, flooding the streets. Grief hit Lucas in the face hard.
“What’s wrong?” Maggie asked.
“My dad was killed during 9/11.” Lucas said. Shock hit Maggie even harder. “He was on the 84th floor when the planes hit,” Lucas said, choking on his words. “He didn’t make it.”
“I’m so sorry.” Maggie said, not knowing what it was like to lose a family member. “At least they didn’t PLAN to kill your father.”
“Plan! That’s it!” Lucas said. “Maggie. We’re going to catch the art thief!”
May 19th, 2014, 12:39 p.m.
De’Livito Residence Backyard
Albany, New York
Maggie and Lucas strategized their plan. “So where do you think the art thief is going to break into next?” Lucas asked.
“Stop playing dumb! You SAW my house! It was like World War Two was going on with paintings in there!” Maggie yelled.
“Okay. So if everything goes according to plan, then the art thief will strike at 2:45, like before, and we can catch and unmask him.
“Alright.” Maggie said. “Now we wait.”
May 19th, 2014, 2:39 p.m.
The thief hid under the bushes. Using a paper clip, he picked at the De’Livitos’ door and opened it. Inside were paintings galore. “I could make a fortune out of this,” he said under his breath.
Quickly he began stuffing all the paintings that he could fit into his big duffel bag. He was about to walk out the door when his foot hit something. It was a little string, almost like a tripwire.
“Oh no…” the art thief said. He had barely any time to ponder when a net fell on him, trapping him securely to the ground.
“Ha! We got you,” a voice yelled from the kitchen. Maggie stepped into the light and grabbed a phone. “Hello? 9-1-1. Yes, this is Maggie at the De’Livito residence. We have the thief.” Then she hung up.
Lucas stepped out from the other corner and pointed a flashlight at the robber’s face. “Let’s see who this jerk is.” Lucas said, pulling off the mask. His eyes widened. His voice choked. “D… d… da… dad?”
May 19th, 2014, 2:53 p.m.
Albany, New York
“But…you’re dead!” Lucas said, his eyes wide in fear and disbelief.
“Your dad!” Maggie said, rushing over.
“No, son, I was not dead. I’m sorry, Lucas. I’m sorry,” Lucas’s father began to speak. “I had crawled out the back door just as the towers exploded, burying everyone in the rubble. The rescuers couldn’t find my body, so they thought I must have been buried under the rubble. So I ran. I began stealing and selling paintings to make a living now that your mom wasn’t there to help me. I had to let the whole world believe I was dead so that none of these thefts would get traced back to me. ”
“You lied to me…” Lucas said, his eyes dark. Fear and disbelief now washed out with anger and pure hatred. “You lied to our family! You lied to the entire world! I thought I could look up to you as a business man. But you’re no better than those rat thieves. I called you a jerk, Dad. A JERK! I’m not going to tell anyone this! But you mark my words: I will now always hate you.” His words had a piercing sting. And, just then, officers barged in, knocking down the door.
2 Days Later…
“Lucas! Van! Look!” their mother said, turning up the TV.
“The art thief has been captured but refuses to be named,” the reporter said. “This is a happy day for the De’Livitos but a dark day for the thief.”
“Thankfully that man is now in jail,” their mom said. “How could anyone love him for what he’s done?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know…” Lucas muttered under his breath.