Posing as truck drivers, two men steal a $100,000 computer from Ferris Electronics and demand $100,000 in ransom for its safe return. The computer is large and unassembled, so Dan Mathews deduces that it must be hidden in a large building in a remote location. He arranges to have Richard Ferris get the ransom money from the bank, but an officer who resembles Mr. Ferris is assigned to take it to the prearranged rendezvous. The thieves panic when they realize that they are under inescapable surveillance by the Highway Patrol helicopter. One gives himself up and the other makes a frantic (and inevitably futile) attempt to get away in the rough terrain. Written by
This was the first of 14 episodes that centered on cases involving the use of the Highway Patrol helicopter. The "copter" episodes were great favorites of the series' fans, but they were limited in number due to the higher cost of production. See more »
This was a fascinating episode with a fascinating premise: steal a valuable machine and hold it for ransom. In this case, the machine is a computer - a computer that cost $100,000 to build and will "revolutionize electronics" (and probably didn't have 1% of the capability of a $500 computer today). One crook asks the other "Why would they pay a ransom that is as much as the computer is worth?" The answer is that it would take them a year to build another computer and any business advantage of having a computer would be gone. So the crooks do steal the computer (a semitrailer is needed to transport it) and the Highway Patrol is after them. This show is also interesting in depicting what may have been a very early use of helicopters in following criminals. At the end of this episode, Crawford starts conveying his famous pithy words of advice or observation. In this one he ends with: "It isn't the car that kills, it's the driver." Hmmm.
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