Season 8
Number 21
Writer K. David Bena,
Brian L. Davidson
Director Matt Earl Beesley
Original Airdate May 3, 2010
Previous Episode: Backfire
Next Episode: Mommie Deadest

Meltdown is the twenty-first episode in Season Eight of CSI: Miami.


Evidence is stolen from the lab following a diamond heist and Eric Delko returns.


A carefully planned out jewelry store heist leaves a man buying an engagement ring dead. Though Horatio chases the thieves, he loses them on a Miami bridge and soon realizes they doubled back and escaped in a truck. At the scene, Calleigh is shocked to spot undercover cop Jake Berkeley in the crowd. Though the VIN numbers on the vehicle used to block off the street during the robbery have been removed, she finds a discarded VIN plate with the number on it. Inside the store, Tripp questions the manager, Leonard Sterling, and learns he was the only employee in the store during the robbery. Natalia finds a signal jammer in the bushes outside that reacts badly with her hearing aid, and she and Tripp determine it was used to take out the store’s security cameras. Dr. Loman examines the body of the man killed in the robbery, Ben Rooney, and finds trace under his nails. Ben’s girlfriend, Kayla Pennington shows up at the scene and is crushed to discover he’s dead. At the lab, Walter and Calleigh find the trace under Ben’s nails is latex, indicating the killers were wearing gloves. Tripp gets an address on the VIN number from the car and he and Calleigh go to check it out. They find the getaway van at the address—along with a sizable stash of discarded diamonds—and hear the sound of gunfire. When they get inside, they find Jake holding a gun, and the other man with him dead on the ground.

Jake identifies the dead man as Joe Tepper. The undercover cop tells Horatio he was recruited for the heist, but Joe sniffed him out as a cop and was going to kill him; Jake shot him in self-defense. Jake tells Horatio he drove the getaway truck, and that Joe tossed the diamonds because they were tattooed with serial numbers and therefore traceable. Back at the lab, Walter and Ryan discover one of the envelopes of diamonds is missing—and Ryan is the last one to have checked out the evidence box according to the log. Stetler comes to the lab to investigate and is vexed to find out the security cameras in the lab malfunctioned because of the signal jammer device, which was turned on despite Walter’s insistence that he removed the battery. Ryan and Natalia recover pictures from a digital camera found on Joe Tepper, which was used by the robbers to monitor the jewelry store. When they discover the photographs were taken from a real estate office belonging to Ben Rooney, they suspect he may have been in on the robbery. Natalia and Calleigh question Kayla Pennington, who tells them she met Ben three weeks ago when she went to his office to buy a condo. Ryan discovers boric acid on Joe’s clothing, leading Horatio to conclude that the thieves are melting down the gold from the settings so they can resell it. Jesse and Horatio consult an “expert”—Ricky Spano, doing time for similar crimes. Ricky tells them the thieves will need a lot of gold from multiple robberies, and then will melt it down and reshape it so that it can’t be traced.

Eric Delko returns to the lab to help on the case, but Natalia quickly figures out that he’s wearing a wire and is in fact there to figure out who at the lab took the diamonds from the evidence locker. Natalia warns him to be careful. Delko finds pistol powder on the signal jamming device, leading him to question Jake, who denies handling the device aside from when he gave it to Tepper. When Delko tells Jake he thinks he’s been undercover too long, Jake reacts angrily. Jesse and Horatio are able to connect the jewelry store heist to 23 other robberies, and find a few shots from witnesses’ cell phone cameras that reveal the thieves are wearing different masks at each heist. The CSIs run a composite photo and are surprised to find the two robbers are women—and one of them is Kayla Pennington. Calleigh and Jesse interrogate the woman, who admits she made one mistake: she fell for a mark. She went to Ben so she could observe the jewelry store from his office, but she ended up falling for him. She denies shooting him, and tells Calleigh that her partner Whitney Dern was the one who killed Ben. Horatio and Jesse find Whitney about to leave town with a truck full of motorcycles. Upon examination, Jesse finds the motorcycles themselves are made out of gold. Whitney and Kayla are arrested. Back at the lab, Calleigh reassures an uneasy Delko that Jake wasn’t the one who took the diamonds—and that he’s no threat to their relationship. The team goes out for drinks, but Natalia begs off, not wanting to be around Delko knowing that he’s investigating the lab.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


The heist crew appears to be based on Katherine Ann Power, Sarah Edith Saxe, and Stanley Ray Bond.

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 8
Out of TimeHostile TakeoverBolt ActionIn Plane SightBad SeedDude, Where's My Groom?Bone VoyagePoint of ImpactKill ClauseCount Me OutDelko for the DefenseShow StopperDie by the SwordIn the WindMiami, We Have a ProblemL.A.Getting AxedDishonorSpring BreakdownBackfireMeltdownMommie DeadestTime BombAll Fall Down