Just two months later, in September 1972, Patterson was in charge of the operation to recover missing baby Jason Lomax. Ena Sharples' great-grandson had been taken from outside the Rovers while his visiting parents Colin and Karen waited inside for Ena to return from her visit to the Preston Guild (Annie Walker having refused to allow the baby to remain on licensed premises). After questioning the Lomaxes and several local residents and establishing a timeframe for Jason's kidnap based on the fact that Elsie Howard had the last confirmed sighting of Jason outside the Rovers, Patterson set up a mobile HQ and the nearby River Irwell was explored by police frogmen. Two days into the search, Patterson interviewed Margaret Beecham, a mentally ill woman who claimed to have kidnapped and buried Jason outside her home. Her story was quickly proved to be false. In the end it was the efforts of Emily Bishop and Betty Turpin that succeeded when they found the occupied pram on waste ground. Family and baby were reunited and the identity of the criminal remained a mystery for four months until the end of the year when a young lady named Christine Peters seemed to know far more about the baby than had been revealed to the general public. Emily investigated and discovered that she had stolen Jason and her appalled sister, who was covering for her, had left the baby on the waste ground to be discovered. Patterson arrested Christine.
This event coincided with another investigation for the policeman when Benny Lewis's penthouse flat was broken into and ransacked and £5,000 stolen. The act had been committed by villain Franny Slater who had got the keys to the flat from Sharon Duffy, a girlfriend of Ray Langton's who was furious that he had pretended that the flat was his and "entertained" her there. She wanted to set Ray up for the crime but Franny insisted that Jacko Ford, recently released from jail, was a more obvious candidate. Franny had Freddie Slack, an accomplice, ply Jacko with drink and drive him into the country while the robbery was committed. Ray came under suspicion and Jacko was remanded in jail but it was Patterson's questioning of Freddie Slack that gave the game away but by that time Franny and Sharon had disappeared. Jacko was subsequently released and Patterson bought him a drink in the Rovers to show that there were no hard feelings.
Following his promotion to Detective Chief Inspector, Patterson's last contact with the residents of the Street was in January 1975 when Ray Langton and Jerry Booth found the body of a woman in 9 Coronation Street, she having died by a blow to the head. Quickly altering the police, she was identified as Lynn Johnson, the wife of bricklayer Roy Johnson who had been seen on several occasions in the company of Len Fairclough in both his builder's yard office and in the Rovers Return Inn. Len swore that his relationship with Lynn was purely professional - she was a battered wife who sought advice from Len in his role as a town councillor however she was not one of his constituents. Added to that there was testimony from Ken Barlow and Albert Tatlock (the latter mistaken) that they had heard Len and Lynn arguing through the wall between No.9 and No.11. Part of Len's alibi was that at the time of the death he had called at her home where the young lodger Clifford Fenton had spoken to him but Fenton denied this - he had been at home but watching television with Roy Johnson and had never seen Len. When the pathologist's report found older bruises on Lynn's body that pre-dated her meeting Len, Patterson became suspicious and questioned Roy Johnson. He admitted to, on occasion, giving his wife the "back of his hand" but conversely Fenton alleged that Johnson had never laid a finger on his wife. Fenton owed both his livelihood and the roof over his head to Johnson. Patterson, seeing that the facts didn't add up pressured Fenton until he broke. Johnson had murdered his wife and used Fenton as his alibi.
A polite, well-spoken man, Patterson used his brains rather than police intimidation tactics to achieve results. Len was furious at the ordeal he had been put through before Johnson was revealed as the murderer and Patterson's demeanour showed that, in part, he agreed with his accusations of callousness.