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The Missing Loom Bands

REF: 131308

One of our most deceptively cryptic cases

A little girl’s Loom Bands went missing under strange circumstances.  The original email sent to Marmont Road read as follows: 

Hello. I have a mystery that I need your help with please. In 3 weeks it's my 8th birthday. Me and my friends are going to have a Loom Band party. Do you know Loom Bands? I really love them. I have a whole case full of them, with all the different colours in different sections. For the party I have decided to make a Loom bracelet for each of my friends and one for my little sister Bethany. But recently my Loom Bands have started to go missing! I keep the case with me all the time, at home and at school. I had the perfect amount to make bracelets for everyone but now they are vanishing. Please help!  Hannah*, 7 years old, Bristol.

It would have been easy to dismiss this initial email as childish forgetfulness. Yet, we began seriously, because we should take children seriously.Our first correspondence went like this:  

Hello Hannah, of course we can help! Could you try something for us? We can see you are very thorough and keep a count of your Loom Bands, could you try and count them all everyday? In the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to sleep. And if you can, let us know exactly when they next go missing. Regards, MRBDA. 

Two weeks went by without a reply from Hannah. We assumed we may have been mistaken and that in fact, it wasn't as urgent a mystery as first thought. Maybe she felt that this enforced experiment was tiresome and useless. That was, until we received this: 

Hello!I know when they go missing! The first time was 2 days after you sent me your message. I went to bed on friday night after counting my bands exactly as you said and when I woke up in the morning there were more gone! I was going to write to you straight away but I wanted to be sure. So I waited another week and it happened again, I went to bed on Friday and when I got up on Saturday there were more gone. What do I do?

We asked Hannah next how close Bethany’s bedroom was to hers, and if her sister could have snuck out in the night while Hannah was asleep. The next email was a little embarrassing, in which Hannah told us that Bethany was only 6 months old and couldn’t even walk let alone command enough midnight baby stealth to pillage the Loom Bands.  It was then, after a night of dead-ends and dry ideas (in which we agreed we couldn’t suggest Hannah stay up every Friday night on a vigilante stake-out to catch the rubber bandit), one of our team had an extraordinary idea. We were assuming, she elaborated, that a variety of all Hannah’s Loom bands were going missing, but maybe we assumed wrongly. She said, ‘Ask Hannah which colours are going missing. And after that, ask her what everyone in her family does on a Saturday.’. This was Hannah’s response: 

...The bright yellow and the bright green ones, my favourite ones are the ones that go missing. On a Saturday me Mum and Bethany usually go to the park and then she takes me swimming. Dad goes fishing all day at Blagdy lake. It's a really smelly place and he always comes home with his boots very muddy. Then after that we have dinner together or sometimes we are allowed to go out for a special treat.

Please be quick my party is next week!!  

The clock was ticking towards the grand Loom Band Party, but with those last nuggets of information, and a little research into lakes in the Bristol area, the case was solved.   Our closing email to Hannah went like this: 

Hello Hannah, thank you for all your help in our work, you have been a brilliant detective. We now know the identity of who has been taking your Loom Bands, and we know why. The real clue came when you told us that your Dad always came home on a Saturday afternoon with muddy boots. The reason for that is because Blagdon Lake in Bristol, a famous fishing lake, has a brown algae bloom, or more simply, muddy water. In the muddy water the fish find it hard to see what is in front of them. All the colours in the water are dull – excepting bright green and bright yellow. I am afraid that your Dad has been ‘borrowing’ the Loom Bands while you are asleep to make the lures to catch his fish on the weekend. I imagine that the small size of the bands and their stretchiness makes it perfect for looping around the rest of the bait. In a few days you will get a package in the post addressed to you. It's from us. Inside you will find two packets of green and yellow Loom Bands, one for your Dad, and one for you. Hope you enjoy your party.  Best wishes, from the Marmont Road Bespoke Detective Agency