One last job he thought to himself, that's all, just one more. Lying on the tired looking cushion in the caravan, he tried to keep warm in the bitterness of the late night. Although the coldness, from the metal tin box, chilled him to the core he knew for certain it was more comfortable than a prison cell would be. Dan had lain low for the last few months after what was meant to be his last job went completely tits up. Two of the crew were nicked in the cock up that should have been a simple in and out. The situation was made worse because not one penny of profit had been made from it all.
Wrapping the thick, heavy, blanket around his goose pimpled neck, he replayed it over in his mind repeatedly. How did the old bill get there so quick? The job had been planned so tightly, down to the last second, he thought it was fool proof. The bank was in a town in Kent. A typical sleepy village with only a few shops, a church and was home to a wealthy farming community. It had easy routes in and out to the motorway so was a great opportunity not to be missed. The bank was not one of the high tech places with all the fancy gadgets like on a main high street. Just a single entrance in and out, two cashiers and no security. That is why Dan chose this place as their next payday
John was sitting in the car as planned with the doors slightly ajar, waiting for all hell to break loose as the group came pelting out from the bank. He was a big bloke in his 30's but quite cumbersome, his forehead had been used to smash so many noses over the years it looked like it was getting flatter by the day. He couldn't run too well but with fists the size of bricks, and twice as hard, he didn't need to run, plus he was one hell of a driver. He could spin a car through a gap with no more than a gnat's whiskers width and still would not scuff the paintwork.
The car had been parked roughly 50 yards up the dimly lit narrow tree lined street. The tidy Jaguar XJR that had seen some miles but certainly had the power that was required. With a quiet tick over it was ideal, blended in well with the type of cars in the area, and did not draw attention while waiting for us. There was loads of room inside for five decent size blokes and, more importantly, a good size boot for the bags. It was black, so it could be easily lost to someone in the dark, and would be a benefit if the crew were being followed. A dark car was always the preferred choice for the winter months; it was much more apt for when the early nights set in.
Marc was taking his usual slow stroll along the near empty street keeping his eyes open for anything coming that might pose a problem. A couple of times, on other jobs, there had been a late straggler wanting to pay two bob into their account but Marc had always been good at diverting people away. A bit of a loner of average height, he merged well with any crowd and didn't look amiss wandering about. Still in his 20's he could have been a model instead of joining the crew but he lived on the adrenalin and loved the buzz of the chase. His dark hair, rugged looks and chiselled jaw made him a hit with the ladies, and quite a few men come to that. They all seemed to comment on his piercing blue eyes, I liked his eyes too albeit for another reason, they were better than a hawk. Obsessed with his vision he books up for eye tests every two months. One day he went for an eye test and was asked to read the lowest line he could see clearly on the card pinned to the wall. The cocky git read out the writing on the bottom of the card that tells you the company that made it and the serial number. The optician had to go over and put glasses on to read it.
Ray and Terry and were brothers, both very similar in height and looks with heads shaved as bald as a coot and as round as footballs. Ray was the longest serving member of the crew and had, over the years, become Dan's most trusted and closest friend. Good thing about the brothers was they didn't have to say anything, one snarl and anyone would do exactly what they were told to do. Ideal when you have some jobs worth behind the counter who wants to be the all-star hero. In truth, Dan was shit scared of them but no way was he going to let on. One rule Dan always stuck by was no shooters, having two blokes that looked like a couple of pitbulls on heat next to you, there was no need.
The plan was simple, the brothers and Dan would stroll in just before closing, do the usual scare tactics and a grimacing snarl from the brothers, get the bags filled, then walk out and off they go straight to the M25 motorway. They would be in and out in under five minutes. Same as had been done before, well that was the plan anyway. Dan knew just before closing, the staff would be getting ready to cash up so the tills would be open.
Dan moved towards the counter of the now empty bank and chose a lovely young red head with a complexion any woman would die to have. The young ones usually do as they are told first time with no messing about or stalling, so she was an ideal candidate for the withdrawal. Calmly strolling to the chest high counter, the beautiful woman greeted Dan with a smile showing her perfect set of white teeth. Her badge proudly displayed told him her name was Sarah.
"You were lucky Sir, we are about to close" She beamed.
"That's a lovely smile, especially for the end of the day Sarah, you must be new" Dan returned the smile.
"Yes Sir, my first day actually, so what can I do for you?"
First day, that was perfect. She would either take it as a joke or be glued to her seat with her arse going ten to the dozen. Dan hoped that it would be the latter.
"You can be very quiet and put everything in the bag from the tills" she was instructed calmly
Her once porcelain face seemed to age 20 years in a split second. Her eyes widened and were transfixed on Dan's face as though she was searching for a little smile that said got ya. It never came.
Red head was halfway through filling the first bag Ray had stuffed under her nose, with his usual menacing growl, when Marc kicks open the door screaming "old bill".
If we were compromised, the plan was to leave everything and just get the fuck out. That way if they were nabbed, their defence would be that nothing had left the place so it was not stolen. Thin, as a water biscuit story, but it would mean the difference of being charged with robbery, or charged with attempted robbery.
Crashing through the door like the proverbial bull onto the street, Dan had his first glimpse of John. He was already in cuffs and thrown across the bonnet of the motor with two of the biggest coppers Dan had ever seen all over him. His arms shoved so far up his back it seemed certain they must have dislocated his shoulders. Good job really, if John had his fists free they would have been buried wrist deep in the coppers faces. There was no time to worry about him at that point it was every man for himself. Scattering in all directions, Marc ran straight into two coppers. Knocking one flying over a hedge and landing himself smack bang at the feet of the other, who instantly splashes down on him like a wrestler landing a death move. No way was Marc getting up with eighteen stone of fat doughnut eating uniform on him. Ray and Terry disappeared in opposite directions over cars and hedges then finally into the trees, no doubt somehow heading for their own little individual hideaways.
Every crewmember had their own places for disappearing to until the dust settled. Dan didn't know where theirs were and they didn't know about his little caravan hideaway. That way, if any of the group were picked up they could all honestly say they didn't know where the others were.