As part of CBS Dream Team, The Inspectors is back for an all new season of entertaining, educational and informative television.
The East Park Mall in Reston, Virginia. A young man named Buddy is trying to sell seedlings explaining to mall goers that they grow into beautiful Christmas plants and the proceeds go to help the charity Christmas Toys for Tots. The scent cause Noah (Harrison Knight) to stopped and talk with Buddy who is impressed with Noah’s knowledge of ferns. Buddy comments how it’d be a shame for Noah to walk away with a seedling. Noah tells Buddy he doesn’t have any money to purchase one. Buddy understands as he just graduated from Frostburg University with an art degree and now he’s selling seedlings. Film major Noah can relate as he’s unemployed. Buddy offers Noah a job helping him sell the seedlings saying he’ll pay Waldman ten dollars an hour and throw in a seedling. After Buddy goes to sell his seedlings on another corner of the mall, a woman approaches Noah wanting to know who is in charge. She tells him that she paid fifty dollars for some seedlings and told all her friends but haven’t received them in the mail yet. And customer service on the website has been disabled. “Is this a real charity or some kind of scam? Are these even real trees?” she demands. Noah tells her he doesn’t even work there yet but says he knows some people that may be able to help she and her friends. “You need to contact The United States Postal Inspectors.”
Mitch (Terry Serpico) and Amanda (Jessica Lundy) talk about the complaint against Christmas Toys for Tots. He comments how scams and Christmas go together like children and clowns. Preston (Bret Green) appears and explains his research into Christmas Toys for Tots didn’t yield any information about the charity. Mitch then shows Amanda and Preston a photo of the child he fosters, which turns out to be a goat. Preston laughs that Mitch is a “goat dad.”
Veronica (Erica Marie Sanchez) wants Noah and Preston to foster a pooch named Marge for the holidays while her parents are away. Ms. Ruiz hopes she can convince her parents to allow her to adopt a dog. Preston agrees without asking Amanda; assuring it should be okay with his mother. At The Wainwright house, Noah, Preston and Veronica are playing with Marge when Amanda enters. Although she reminds that taking care of a dog is a big responsibility, Mrs. Wainwright becomes instantly smitten with Marge. She tells Preston that she and Mitch have to go to Frostburg on a case.
Mitch and Amanda drive down State Hwy. 68 to Frostburg to meet Buddy Sorrell at Jingle Bell City Tree Farms. Buddy tells the postal inspectors how he was approached when a man named Jim Bond showed up at the tree farm wanting to purchase a thousand seedlings saying it was for non-profit organization. Buddy explains he mails the seedlings and Bond comes once a week to pick up payment. He said he didn’t want the transactions to go through the mail adding he could be trusted because his word was his bond. Jim will be there in two days to pick up the last payment before Christmas.
While Preston and Veronica are decorating the Christmas tree, she suggests Noah get a seasonal job playing a Christmas elf. When she jingles an ornament, Marge cries and runs away. Preston does research about how noises can trigger a memory in a pet and wonder whether Marge is being abused. They learn her owner is Liam McCullough, the Santa at East Park Mall in Reston, Virginia.The gang decide to go there. Preston questions McCullough about Marge. He confesses how he works that system by lying that he’s visiting his mother who died years ago while some idiots take care of his dog. Veronica enters carrying Marge. Liam says they are coddling Marge and attempts to strike the dog. He tells them they can have Marge. As the whole thing was broadcast over the loud speaker and Noah was recording it on the phone, McCullough quits leaving a job opening for Noah to feel as the new East Park Mall Christmas Santa.
Wearing a wire, Buddy is able to get Jim Bond saying he will write him a check to cover the cost of postage for Buddy to mail the seedlings. Mitch and Amanda arrest Bond. But Buddy decides he’ll still mail the purchased seedlings so they will arrive to the customers by Christmas and asks Amanda whether he can get a discount on postage. “Merry Christmas Buddy” is Amanda’s response.
Noah gives Buddy to Veronica as a Christmas present and Preston a candy cane, reminding it is easier to take care of than a dog. The love of the three friends and a dog named Marge is the true spirit of Christmas that a scammer can’t take away.
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Photos Courtesy of CBS’ The Inspectors’ Official Twitter.