An older man (Hume Cronyn) walks down the street carrying a shopping bag and a tripod during the afternoon in Honolulu. 'Kam's Jewelry' is closing up for the day as a man (Galen Kam) covers a typewriter and is pulling the shade when the older man walks up to the door flashing cash. His workers are closing the displays as he opens the door. The older man enters placing the tripod on the counter asking if anyone needs to use the restroom. He tells them they will be locked in their supply room for at least the next hour. He pulls a gun on them and forces them into the supply room pulling out a tape player, which plays instructions for them: there are cards and coffee "in the bag there". As the man robs the jewelry store, he calls McGarrett. He reports a "robbery in progress" and he's the thief!
At Kam's Jewelry, Kono asks the employees to describe the man as Chin goes over the scene. As McGarrett arrives, Danno is talking to the owner and tells McGarrett, "hard to say except the thief cleaned out the entire supply of diamonds. About $51,000 worth". The owner describes the man as 60 or 65 "a banker type" and "conservative". McGarrett wants to know what the deal is with the binoculars on the tripod. Danno doesn't know but the phone rings asking for McGarrett. It's the thief! He's calling from across the street in McGarrett's view through the binoculars. He tells McGarrett he has two more jobs then he'll retire for good and he's left something for him under the desk to his right. McGarrett looks, picking up a 'Chance' card from Monopoly: 'Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200'.
The lab group is on scene including Che Fong (Harry Endo) who is dusting for prints. McGarrett describes him as "less than medium height, thin, mid 50s, no older". Chin wonders if he's just one or a "committee". McGarrett sets Chin to run the computer on the M.O., including the businesses hit, "his good manners" and the fact he uses disguises. With everything, Che is only able to find one thumbprint on the binoculars.
At the lab, Che looks at the serial numbers much closer and they've been altered and not in a very good way. Kono takes the original serial numbers of the binoculars and the tripod. Chin sounds hopeful when he figures the guy isn't as "slick" as they thought. A package is delivered for McGarrett who opens it: a 'Community Chest' card and some of the diamonds from Kam's Jewelry! Che notes the package was sent to McGarrett straight to the lab.
In McGarrett's office, he notes the package was sent from Punahou substation and has Kono mark it on the map. Meantime, Danno is trying to read the dot matrix printout from the computer. McGarrett has already gone over it once finding a pattern of three robberies at a time then a lull of two months then three robberies again. All the businesses are commercial and insured. The returned diamonds were only part of the haul, "he kept several thousand dollars' worth of the most marketable". Chin walks in with some interesting news of his own: "the binoculars, for instance, was purchased by some hood named Chin Ho Kelly. And Danny Williams bought the tape recorder. Tripod picked up by one Steve McGarrett". The guy even brought Jenny (Peggy Ryan) into the mess! And thumbprint? It belongs to Kono! On a serious note, McGarrett knows it's going to take some work to nail this thief who has "savvy" and they need to get to it. Jenny walks in with news of another robbery by "The Monopoly Thief". The team runs out.
The team arrives on scene at "Whitmore Importers" as McGarrett and Chin talk to an older man who reported the robbery. He describes the thief as "young and impudent" and reported tanzanite as the gems stolen but McGarrett has never heard of it. The man tells him it was discovered in 1967, flashes green-blue and they "paid $102,634 for them". The man excuses himself because he feels "sick" and heads into the back room. But he's not the owner at all; he's the Monopoly Thief! He changes disguises, leaving another card on the safe door after saying, "patience children" to those locked inside. The thief speeds up when McGarrett starts knocking on the door. McGarrett kicks it in but the thief has already exited in an HPD uniform into the hallway! McGarrett stops to look at the 'Chance' card realizing he's been had. McGarrett, Chin and an HPD officer run into the hallway to find the guy and even talk to the thief describing the old man to him. The thief even tells them he heard someone in the stairwell going up! McGarrett wants to make sure they box him in as McGarrett takes the elevator down.
Out front, Danno watches everyone coming and going around the building as HPD officers check everyone as they leave. The thief is already past them walking to the parking lot as a light blue Dodge van parks in the wrong spot. Danno yells at the officer to order the van moved and the thief pretends to a point to do so. The thief abruptly turns and walks to his car waving to Danno as he leaves who has realized too late the thief slipped right past him. It takes a couple of seconds for things to click and Danno runs for the car followed by a pair of motorcycle officers. Driving down the street and making some quick turns, Danno finds the car abandoned in an alley but no sign of the thief!
In the laboratory, Che and a technician pick through what was caught in the car parts. McGarrett walks in informing the thief had the car for 24 hours. Fortunately for them, the car had been through an automatic car wash, "the inside was vacuumed, dusted, glass polished. The oil filter and the air filter had been recently changed. Brand new, in fact". Che reports finding all sorts of stuff in the car: "seeds, soil, grass, animal hairs, feathers". Che plans to calls in a zoologist and a botanist. But one thing Che is interested in is the pollen and there's a ton of it. Also, the car shows signs of being by the docks due to fuel oil soot and wheat chaff.
In McGarrett's office, they look over a Honolulu map as Danno reports the grain elevators were emptied at 7:00 a.m. and the "wind was east by northeast all morning". McGarrett says the car was picked up at the airport and spent the night on the waterfront between Aloha Tower and the Oahu Railroad Depot. However, the mileage doesn't add up. Kono tells him the speedometer has an error of "minus 10.3 percent," which equates to 14.2 miles. McGarrett figures there is 9.5 miles to be accounted for. They interrupted by Dr. Emerson (John Hunt) led by Jenny who's carrying some newspaper cartoons of McGarrett's handling of The Monopoly Thief. McGarrett tells Jenny to convey to their newspaper "friends" he wants equal space when he catches the guy before he shoos the team out so he can speak to Dr. Emerson.
Dr. Emerson is uncertain why McGarrett wants his advice, but McGarrett would like to know motive. "My degree says "psychiatry," not "clairvoyance." All I can do is guess". McGarrett would like his guess. Dr. Emerson thinks it's about identity rather than ego: "he has to label every crime". Dr. Emerson continues, saying the thief has "been kicked around all his life" and now he's fighting back. Dr. Emerson asks if the next target is "Fort Knox"?
At an exchange, two armed guards show up with moneybags and the clerk signs for them. The thief shows up in a guard uniform and the clerk asks if he forgot something. Nope, he hands her his card: 'Chance Bank Pays You Dividend of $50'.
In McGarrett's office, McGarrett and Danno watch the latest robbery with the governor. This time he took $200,000. Chin walks in and the rest of the tape runs with the thief shooting the camera with the water gun he has that looks very real. Chin has an identity of the thief: Lewis Avery Filer, a former insurance investigator "good one too". Chin also has his story, Filer disappeared about two and a-half years before with $19,000 in hospital costs. His wife had a heart condition and died. The interesting part: the hospital bill was paid that morning, in cash over by exactly $50. One of the bills, a $50, was marked and hot. McGarrett wants to know if Filer has anything to do with Mid-Pacific Industries (MPI) because The Monopoly Thief only hits MPI establishments. When he was an insurance investigator, he worked for Island Home and Life and Chin will check for an MPI connection. The governor suggests a news conference but McGarrett says they don't have a case yet. The governor wants the information released "our way". McGarrett agrees and has Danno set it up.
MPI has agreed and a new conference is held with McGarrett and an MPI representative (Les Keiter). The representative tells the gathered press every place hit by The Monopoly Thief is either insured, owned or shares its profits with MPI. When the representative says Filer's name, McGarrett jumps in to say his name is strictly off record as there is no evidence of wrongdoing by him. However, the press runs with it asking Franklin, the representative, if Filer once worked for them were they unhappy with his performance. Franklin explains Filer worked for a small firm and through the process of mergers and business acquisitions, MPI became Filer's employer. One reporter asks McGarrett outright what the connection is between Filer, MPI and The Monopoly Thief. McGarrett shows them various pictures: one of Filer and the other from the exchange robbery tape known to be The Monopoly Thief. McGarrett then uses overlays to show that The Monopoly Thief and Filer are the same man. McGarrett shares his theory with the press: the employee (Filer) "was removed from his job because he was over 50. He was working with a company that was absorbed by a larger company". As McGarrett finishes, he's challenged from the back and Filer steps forward threatening to sue McGarrett unless he arrests Filer on the spot. Filer smiles as the press crushes in on the two men.
In his office that night, McGarrett walks in as Filer sits. McGarrett notices dirt on Filer's shoes and tells Filer he'll convict him on solid evidence such as his abandoned rental car. McGarrett figures Filer drove the car to his hideout and also knows Filer wants to go to court now before McGarrett has his case ready. McGarrett refuses to play Filer's game and even tries psyching Filer as McGarrett points out there will be multiple people watching him: how many real and how many imagined? McGarrett isn't the only one trying to psych the other out: Filer isn't giving away anything even as McGarrett tells him the bank/hideout is underground and probably near the monkey cages. McGarrett even shows Filer what they have on the map. Returning to his desk, McGarrett makes a quick move to remove Filer's shoe and take the soil sample off of it, handing the shoe back. McGarrett calls Danno and tells him Filer is ready to leave. Filer is smug, "Have you any idea what the press will do to you?" McGarrett shrugs, he's used to it.
Danno and Kono lead a three-car all night stakeout of Filer as McGarrett racks his brain in his office. Che walks in with the results of the tests run on soil from Filer's shoe: monkey hairs, flamingo feathers, bamboo seeds and all from the same place. McGarrett says they need some fresh eyes because they know the mileage Filer drove. It's a question of finding where his bank is among those miles. Chin grabs the tourist guide as McGarrett and Che unfurl a survey map of Honolulu and McGarrett wants them to go over every grid square. Meantime at the stakeout, the sun is up and so is Filer. He carries a suitcase to his car as Danno directs the stakeout teams. They follow Filer as Danno calls into McGarrett's office where Chin and Che are having no luck finding the bank. Chin thinks he found something but no and Che points out they're looking in the middle of the city for jungle stuff. McGarrett says the car discounts anywhere else.
Filer turns his car in and makes yet another phone call. Kono is confused and Danno is near giving up because it seems there's nothing Filer can't do. Filer finishes the call and starts walking, finally hastily shoving his suitcase into a Mustang Mach I. The stakeout teams try to follow as Filer tears out. Meanwhile, chin has finally his pay dirt: Paradise Park! Problem though, it's a 22-mile roundtrip. Danno calls in with his own issues: the Mustang could make "120 easy" and Filer's most likely heading to Likelike Highway. McGarrett urges him not to lose Filer and they need just a bit more time. Danno isn't hopeful but he'll try. McGarrett and Chin have something bugging them and they remember the "Colchester case": something is up with the odometer. They leave.
McGarrett and Chin go to the HPD Impound lot and find Filer's original rental car. They compare the odometer to a Hubodometer in a rear hubcap. There is a 23-mile differential, "and that means Paradise Park". McGarrett wants a helicopter to pickup Chin as he heads to the park.
Filer arrives at Paradise Park via cab entering as an employee. Meanwhile, Danno and his stakeout group find the Mustang. Filer ditched it on an overpass and "just vanished again". Danno radios McGarrett who is still heading to Paradise Park. Filer passes the guard at the park going to a golf cart, double-checking with the guard of course. Lifting a bird out, Filer takes off driving through the park passing various animal exhibits. He walks through the flamingo exhibit in order to reach his hiding place in a stand of jungle. Listening to the helicopter overhead Filer feels his in the clear but McGarrett is standing right behind him! McGarrett hands Filer a 'Chance' card: 'Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200'. Filer rips it up and throws it on the ground. McGarrett arrests Filer after he packs up the bank.
This plot summary Copyrightę Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.