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A certain shopping area has been hit by a virtual shoplifting spree -
which would be hardly a case for the police, hadn't whoever-it-was stolen
a mink stole worth half a fortune last - and thus Friday (Jack Webb) and
Smith (Ben Alexander) from LAPD investigate. At first though, their
success is only limited, they question a salesgirl (Michael Ann Barrett)
who seems suspicious, only to find out they have got absolutely nothing on
her, then the mink stole shows up at a busstation - but there's absolutely
no one to tie to it. Also, other items on the list of stolen goods can be
found, in various garbage cans around town and the like. So, Friday
concludes, they have to be dealing with a cleptomaniac - and it's only by
chance that a 15 year old girl (Allene Roberts) sees one of her neighbours,
Virginia Sterling (Peggy Webber), wife of a respected doctor, toss a few
shopping bags full of stolen goods away that Friday and Smith are able to
track the thief down - and of course, in the end, Mrs Sterling does
actually admit to being a cleptomaniac, and she's sent to jail.
most episodes of Dragnet, this is a police procedural that
tells its tale in a pedantic short of way - which is the series' biggest
shortcoming but also its biggest charm. So don't expect anything remotely
resembling accomplished storytelling from this one, but expect the whole
thing to be told in such a matter-of-fact way it's almost endearing ...