Episode 6.41 (252)
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Written by Deborah Parsons
Directed by Steve Mann
Ben's divorce finally comes through, but it's hard news for his daughter Emma who must return to her mother in Melbourne. In anger and frustration, Emma trashes the station. Tom has patiently watched Ben struggle with single parenthood and his duties as a cop but warns him that this interference with work must stop.
PJ discovers $20.00 missing from petty cash and Emma seems the likely suspect, but Ben's troubles boil over when he learns Emma has run away and a teacher confides that she frequently skips school with a friend.
Ben finds Emma at her friend's grandmother's house. They seem to be in good hands and after reassurance from Nanny Nora, Ben realises his daughter has found comfort he has been unable to provide.
Back at the station, the Heelers puzzle over a series of house burglaries in which odd trinkets and valuable electrical goods are stolen. The crimes seem unrelated but are taking place in the same area. Jo and Ben attend a report at an older woman's home and find another break-in. Some strange things are missing, such as a snow dome and a fairy magnet. This time, however, the homeowner is found severely assaulted and unconscious.
The Heelers enlist the aid of a roof tiler who seems to have the perfect vantage point to view the crimes but he offers no clues. PJ's main lead is a collection of dumped goods found at the local quarry — discarded booty from burglaries reported months earlier. At the quarry he also discovers an abandoned car turned into a kids' cubby house. It seems certain that children are involved in these burglaries and when Emma arrives at the station with an expensive new fairy doll and a bag of lollies for all to share, PJ puts her in the frame.
After an interview with the bashed woman confirms children were involved in her robbery, PJ confronts Ben with his suspicions. Emma has been skipping school, hasn't she? Does she have an alibi? The suggestion whips Ben into a fury. He lashes out at PJ accusing him of acting out of jealously over his close relationship with Maggie.
Tom questions Emma about the burglaries and she appears very uncomfortable when news of the older woman's plight is relayed. Some digging later, the Heelers learn the roof tiler's work pattern corresponds with another spate of robberies in nearby St. Davids and he becomes the prime suspect. This is little comfort to Ben who finds Emma has run away again.
The Heelers have some success with an ID photoboard of children when the older woman recovers and identifies Emma's truant friend as the culprit. The Heelers keep this grim counsel — how can they possibly tell Ben?
PJ has a hunch Emma might be hiding at the quarry but when he and Ben arrive, they find the abandoned car has fallen down the embarnkment and Emma is lying unconscious beneath it.
Guest Starring: Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, Caitlin Wainrib as Melissa Sharpe, Lois Ramsey as Nora Sharpe, Scott Irwin as Terry Munks, Mary Ward as Betty Withers, Jamie C Wilson as Graham Grieves, Caroline Lloyd as Sharon Milburn, Suzi Dougherty as Dr Mel Carter
(encoded with Handbrake - Blue Heelers - from Complete Seventh Season DVD - the early years)
Duration: approximately 45 minutes
Aspect ratio: 4:3 standard
Audio: linear hi-fi/stereo
Video format: MPEG-4 (MP4)
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Australian TV series 1994-2006