Cullinan Shenanigans; Magic Camera

The Cullinan 1 Diamond (a.k.a.: The Great Star of Africa) has been stolen. In order to catch the culprit, world renown scientists Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson have engineered a camera that can take pictures of the past. Unfortunately, taking pictures of the past is very expensive. You have been hired to develop the optimal strategy for the right moments to take the pictures. When you take a picture, you can see one of three things: The diamond in the case, an empty case, or the culprit in the act. After a detailed investigation, evidence suggests that the culprit was a master thief, but it must have taken him more than $$10$$ minutes to steal the diamond. Evidence also suggests that he must have stolen it on Sunday, within a $$24$$ hour period.

What is the maximum number of pictures you need to take to catch the culprit if you use the best strategy?

Inspired by You Be the Detective.

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