Crime Wave
Crime Wave
Season 3
Number 7
Writer Elizabeth Devine
Director Karen Gaviola
Original Airdate November 8, 2004
Previous Episode: Hell Night
Next Episode: Speed Kills

Crime Wave is the seventh episode in Season Three of CSI: Miami.


As a huge tsunami heads directly towards Miami, a ten-hour warning gives citizens just enough time to evacuate the city. In the chaos, two people are killed in a parking lot and the evidence leads Horatio to discover a plot to rob a bank timed to take advantage of the evacuation. In the wake of the storm, Ryan and Alexx discover a body washed up from a local cemetery that may have a different cause of death than originally recorded. Meanwhile, Horatio suspects that Yelina is being physically abused by her boyfriend, IAB's Rick Stetler.


A tsunami—a massive tidal wave—is headed for Miami and people are evacuating in droves. They crowd at gas stations and ATMs on their way out of town. The supermarket is packed as well. An overweight man whose body is covered in tattoos fights for breath as he puts his purchases away. A man approaches him and swiftly shoves a thin metal object in his head, killing him. A college girl witnesses the act and drops her bag in terror as the man approaches. When Horatio, Frank Tripp and Alexx arrive, they have two bodies on their hands. The man is an ex-con named Leon Caldwell, and his purchases are suspicious. He had a gun as well with heavy ammunition. Horatio realizes Leon was planning something big. The tsunami is not the only thing about to hit Miami. He suspects a major heist Calleigh and Eric go over Leon's car. Calleigh discovers white hairs on the seat, while Tripp goes through the killer's abandoned purchases, finding twine and a maglight. He and Eric head off to check other hardware stores around town where the killer could have replaced his stock while Calleigh goes back to the CSI labs where she runs into Ryan on his way out. Ryan is concerned about his uncle, who was refusing to evacuate. Ryan can't reach him, so he's headed over to his uncle's apartment.

Tripp and Delko make it to the hardware store in time to catch Steve Riddick leaving with purchases identical to that of Leon's killer. He also has orange pulp on his shoes, possibly from a crushed orange found at the scene. Tripp arrests him. Alexx tells Horatio that the head wound killed Leon, but the man also had breathing problems due to chronic apnea. Horatio suspects Leon was killed because he couldn't be counted on for the heist because of his apnea. When he runs his theory by Steve, Steve refuses to talk. His lawyer is on the way. Horatio promises that he'll get Steve. When Horatio steps outside of the interrogation room, he goes to see Yelina, who is sporting a nasty bruise on her right eye. When Horatio angrily asks her about it, she says she hit herself bending down to get a pot in the kitchen. Horatio wants to find Stetler, whom he assumes is responsible for the bruise, but Yelina insists its not what he thinks. They are interrupted by Rebecca Nevins, who tells Horatio that he has to let Steve go; they just don't have enough evidence to hold him. She tells him to re-arrest Steve when they get more compelling evidence. Horatio is forced to release the man.

One of the lab techs tells Calleigh that the hair from Leon's car belongs to a greyhound, so Calleigh and Horatio go to the greyhound racing track. The dogs have been evacuated, but a worker named Manuel is still there, as is a piece of glass that has been shot at. The killers were experimenting with the hurricane-proof glass to see what it would take to break it. Horatio calls Delko, who identifies Golden Beach Bank & Trust as the only bank in the area with that type of glass. Horatio tells Delko to meet him at the bank. Ryan arrives at his uncle's house, but the man is gone. A neighbor, Mona, greets Ryan, but when they look out the window, the tsunami is fast approaching. There's no time to leave; they're staying put. When Horatio and Delko get to the bank, the robbery is in progress. The gunmen are firing at the ceiling while patrons and staff cower in terror. Horatio and Delko shoot the robbers, killing them. But someone has taken the bank's cash already—there was a third robber. Horatio tries to get everyone to the vaults, but the bank manager, Scott Riley, resists because his wife, Mara, has been shot in the leg. Horatio picks up the woman and everyone flees to the vault just as the tsunami hits the bank.

Horatio gingerly opens the vault door and some water spills in. Horatio and Delko step out into the bank, which has all but been destroyed. Even the hurricane glass blew out. The body of one of the robbers is still there, trapped by the debris. Horatio puzzles over why the robbers shot so many rounds into the ceiling of the bank. The thirty-foot tsunami has ravaged Miami. Ryan and Mona watch the now calm ocean from Ryan's uncle's apartment. They are unharmed, and Ryan is relieved when his uncle calls to let him know he's safe—and locked out of the building on the roof. Ryan leaves to let him back in. On his way back to CSI, Ryan has come across the body of a woman. Alexx arrives to examine her and determines she wasn't killed by the tsunami. The woman has been embalmed—she must have been washed out of a grave. A trip to a nearby cemetery reveals her origins. The cemetery director tells them that twelve bodies were washed out of their graves, but that all have been accounted for. Ryan notes that they have an extra body.

When Stetler arrives at the bank to investigate the shooting, Horatio angrily confronts him about Yelina. Stetler echoes Yelina's story about her injury being an accident, and growls at Horatio that Yelina loved Raymond, not Horatio. Horatio tells Stetler that he'll kill Stetler if he ever hurts Yelina again. Stetler asks for Horatio's weapon so that he can begin his report on the shooting of the robbers. Ryan has an ID on the body he found: Mabel Weiss. Each body at the cemetery has a small vial with their info—ID and location of grave—inserted into the casket. But Mabel's info doesn't match her grave's location. Ryan also has another problem: Alexx has discovered the body of a man who wasn't embalmed. He was strangled. It appears the tsunami has uncovered a homicide. The funeral director, Alice Arena, admits to Ryan that Mabel was moved so that a man could be buried next to his wife. Ryan asks for the cemetery's surveillance tapes.

Eric as identified their dead bank robber as Barry Youngblood. Apparently Barry turned on the third bank robber and fired off several shots at him. Horatio visits Mara Riley in the hospital and is concerned when he learns that her husband never showed up to see her the hospital. He calls Tripp, who was suspicious of Riley to begin with, to check out the situation. Tripp is already at Riley's house, and there's no sign of Scott, but the personnel file of Farley Wheeler, one of the bank employees, lies open in Riley's kitchen. Eric follows the lead to Wheeler's house where he comes across a standoff between Steve Riddick and Scott Riley, who has taken justice into his own hands. Wheeler sits on the floor between them, having been grazed by a bullet from Riley's gun. When Steve finally talks Scott into lowering his weapon, Delko enters, gun raised, but Steve takes Scott hostage and flees with him. Tripp catches Wheeler outside, but Steve gets away with Scott. Wheeler admits to giving Steve his bank access number in exchange for a cut of the profits from the robbery.

Calleigh is confused by some evidence she's found: explosives that were apparently never used in the robbery. Horatio realizes they've got a second crime scene on the second floor when he discovers vaults with gold bricks in them. Most of the gold is gone; the explosives were used to blow open the vault doors, and the robbers on the first floor fired their guns into the ceiling to mask the sound of the explosions above. Calleigh figures out that the men must have punched holes in the windows so that they'd collapse when the tsunami hit them. The gold bars were loaded into GPS tagged bags and were carried off by the tsunami. Ryan and Tyler Jensen go over the surveillance tapes from the cemetery. Ryan realizes they can figure out which car was carrying a body by measuring how low the car is when it enters the cemetery versus how low it is when it leaves.

Delko traces the bags used to move the gold to Dr. Greismer, a tsunami expert at a local university. His colleague, Dr. Leslie Harrison, a hurricane expert, hasn't seen him, but the CSIs eventually locate him. Greismer claims he purchased the bags for research, but that he lost them. The only other person who would have had access to them was Leslie. Realizing the robbers may have been preparing for a hurricane, not a tsunami, Horatio arrests Leslie. Ryan and Tyler discover the car they're looking for: a black Camero which belongs to Paul Abbot. The body is IDed as Ed Miller, who just happens to be Paul's stepfather. Ryan gets a warrant for Paul's car. He finds dirt in it as well as saliva, which he gives to Valera to analyze.

Horatio and Yelina turn the screws on Leslie, saying they can trace phone calls between her and Steve. She refuses to help them. Horatio needs to find Steve before he can kill Scott Riley. Working from Steve's obsession with explosives, he and Delko figure out that Steve may have taken Scott to a hotel scheduled to be demolished that very day. The explosives are on a timer system, and by the time Horatio and Delko arrive, just two minutes remain before the explosives are set to detonate. Undeterred, Horatio races in with the Hummer, finds Scott tied to a pole with five seconds to spare, gets the man in the Hummer, and drives out as the explosions rock the building behind him.

Ryan tells Paul Abbot that he found soil and saliva matching Ed's DNA in his car. Paul breaks down and confesses that Ed was dishonoring his dead mother's memory by bringing women to their bed just days after her death. He says he visited his mother's grave and she "told" him to kill Ed. He strangled Ed in his sleep. Ryan says he doubts Paul killing Ed would have made Paul's mother any happier than Ed's infidelity would have. Yelina finds a purchase for 2000 gallons of diesel fuel on Leslie's credit card. Horatio goes to the coast guard and they are able to locate the GPS signal of the bags since it's actually sending out a signal. The Coast Guard, Homeland Security and Border patrol descend upon Steve Riddick's boat. Steve has killed two more of his business partners and he's just grabbed the bags of gold when the boats catch up with him. It's over. Ryan and Alexx look on as Mabel Weiss is returned to her grave. Alexx gently cautions Ryan that all cases don't end so neatly, and he tells her he's aware of it, but that he'll take what he can get. Horatio tells Leslie that Steve was planning to kill her, but she refuses to believe it. He tells her no decent man would exploit a tragedy like the tsunami. He asks Yelina if she's okay, but she brushes him off. On his way out, Horatio runs into Rebecca Nevins, who tells him she has enough to try Steve. Rebecca is concerned that Horatio is going to cancel dinner, but he says he just wants to push it back by an hour. He plans to visit the Rileys in the hospital. She tells him that's fine, and that she'll leave the door unlocked for him. He leaves with a big smile.


Main Cast[]

 Guest Cast[]

  • Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
  • David Lee Smith as Rick Stetler
  • Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
  • Christina Chang as Rebecca Nevins
  • Armando Valdes-Kennedy as Aaron Peters
  • Brian Poth as Tyler Jenson
  • Brian Bloom as Scott Riley
  • Louis Mandylor as Steve Riddick
  • Ann Magnuson as Ms. Arena
  • Tamara Taylor as Dr. Leslie Harrison
  • Corbin Allred as Paul Abbot
  • Laura Regan as Mrs. Riley
  • Beth Broderick as Mona
  • Matt Champagne as Dr. Greismer
  • Manny Perez as Manny Orantes
  • John Kassir as Farley Wheeler
  • Manny Suarez as Charlie
  • Kieran Campion as Jarrod Walker
  • David Allen Brooks as Ed Miller
  • Pedro Miguel Arce as Leon Caldwell
  • Kasey Wilson as Regina Deacon
  • Kaiyana Rain as Paramedic
  • Amanda Randall as Anna
  • Nicole Rawlins as Hottie
  • Jodi Harris as Woman
  • Pia Artesona as Woman #1
  • Ricardo Molina as Border Patrolman
  • Jeff Brockton as Dan
  • Michael Owen as Nick
  • Damian Vickers as Barry Youngblood
  • Daniel Arrias as Bank Robber #2


  • The episode was aired around six weeks before the Boxing Day Asia Tsunami.
  • This episode's runtime was originally 62 minutes. CBS also produced a shortened version with a runtime of 42 minutes by cutting out the entire graveyard subplot, among other minor changes.

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 3
Lost SonPro PerUnder the InfluenceMurder in a FlashLegalHell NightCrime WaveSpeed KillsPiratedAfter the FallAddictionShootoutCop KillerOne Night StandIdentityNothing to LoseMoney PlaneGame OverSex & TaxesKiller DateRecoilVengeanceWhacked10-7