The Blizzard Bandit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story of snow, robbery, crime and cops.

Submitted: June 17, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 17, 2016




He turned on the television, flipped the remote until the weather channel appeared, then sat down to watch.
Cold, bitter cold. God, how they all hated the cold, and the snow. He didn't love it either, but he needed it, had his own reason for that. Yep, he needed it, a good snowstorm would be perfect. But seriously, he wanted to hate the snow too. He really hoped someday soon he'd be able to say it, "I hate the snow!"
Thursday, supposed to have heavy snow, blizzard-like conditions in the early afternoon. Sounded like it was going to be the perfect day. It was time to plan.
They studied the board, everything laid out there pretty easy to see, really. The two detectives had been in the robbery division for a long time, partners against crime.
Easy enough to follow this guy, the robberies, all either a bank, a credit union, or a jewelry store, their trail moving across the map in a definite pattern. It wasn't even hard to know where he would hit next. The question was when? That was the one thing this guy had left on them, the only card he held they didn't see, hadn't trumped.
So, where was the common denominator? What made these robberies work? They needed the clue to that, needed to find out when the next one was coming. But where in all of the reports was that clue? The guy seemed to pull these at different times of the day, different days of the week, and he always got away with it.
So, we got him going to the Wells Fargo next, looking at the pattern on the map, that's where he'll hit next. Now, if we just knew when, we could have it all tied up and he'd walk right into his last job for the next twenty years. Too bad we couldn't just sit someone inside there indefinitely, until he makes his move. What with the budget and the manpower, neither which has anything extra in it, that would never happen.
This guy, he's not as smart as he thinks he is, we know where, we know how. I wonder if he knows we do though. 
Two days, in two days it would be Thursday, and he was already feeling the excitement building. Just a game, a real life game of cat and mouse, one that he was in charge of.
He knew the cops weren't stupid, he'd figured a while back they had to see the obvious pattern in addresses he was robbing, each one just the next in line, nothing hard to figure out. He did it that way to taunt them, give them a piece of candy, so like any child they'd follow right along. This Thursday, that would be the end of the easy guesswork, he had something bigger in mind for a finale. Just had to get Thursday done first.
He didn't sleep much the next couple days, not much, but enough to stay alert. Didn't eat much either, he never did before a job, there was time enough to go eat as much as he wanted and anywhere he wanted to eat it afterwards. In fact, he was so sure of the future he made himself a reservation at the city's premier restaurant, the one with that tv chef gal there.
He laid out the clothes for tomorrow, have to bundle up for the weather, and a mask and gloves wouldn't ever get a second glance here, in a place where everybody wore them every day, all winter long.
He lifted the sawed off shotgun from its case, and it gleamed in the soft lamplight, dust free, well oiled, and polished. From under the mattress he pulled his regular, the .380 he'd had on him for years, every single step out into the public. Not that he needed to, but it was comforting, and a habit, like putting on your shoes, or brushing your teeth, shoving the little piece into the waistline in back was the same to him.
It was nearing daylight, the gray skies of winter beginning to show as the night faded. He snapped shells into the sawed off, didn't put one in the chamber though, because the sound of a shotgun pumping did wonderful things for people's abilities to follow directions, like closing their eyes or opening up their listening ears, as Judge Judy would say. God, he had to stop sitting around all day between heists watching daytime dramas on television, maybe go on a vacation for the winter this year, or who was he kidding.... maybe not.
The little tables in the back were empty, devoid of customers, except for the two of them. Just five in the morning anyway, so who would be hanging out in a Holiday gas station in the middle of winter? Just the guys who get the donuts for free, that's who.
Almost time to turn in, call it another day, or night, or whatever. They'd broken a case late last night, got the bad guys downtown and booked, a good night's work. But always, in the back of the mind, their main case, the guy robbing left and right all the way across the suburbs untouched. He even seemed so smart he played dumb, gave clues and made things fall into place, easy to figure out, on purpose. Like playing a reverse psychology scheme, and then making a reverse for the reverse, confusing to say, simple to see, easy to follow, impossible to catch. Guys like this, they come along once in a lifetime, maybe this guy could be the guy who makes being a cop all worthwhile. Then again, he might make it seem worthless, like he was so far. Now they wondered, what could he be doing right about now?
He finished dressing just as the snow began to fall. When he went outside to start his car, it really began to come down, just like the weatherman predicted. Standing in his little kitchen, he sipped a cup of coffee and absent-mindedly slid the shotgun up and out, then back into the hidden scabbard under the coveralls. Everything looked good today, everything looking smooth, like the way that the gun was gliding out and up, smooth. He waited for another fifteen minutes, then made his way to the car, and slid out onto the freeway, spinning tires and throwing up snow behind. Yep, it would be bad by the time he was there, and bad was good. The wind started blowing hard from the North, he could feel it pushing at the car, even better, the snow whipped up into a blinding white sheet of circles and spots, visibility about a foot.
Two donuts down, two free coffee's each, and they parted ways, each off on the drive home in their own unmarked. Damn, the snow was coming down, it's a damn blizzard, and you can't see enough to drive over five miles an hour. 
He envied his old buddy for a moment, knowing he had only a short drive to his home, and his own was way out, away from the whole city and it's bullsh-t and people. God, this fuc-ing snow, it sucks, it messes up life, why the hell did he ever move here, and even more stupid, decide to stay,and even dumber, be a cop, and.... The list goes on and on, something to do to make the time go, when driving about three miles an hour through a blizzard. He actually met and passed by a few cars, saw some brake lights and headlights here and there through the blanket of snow. These people up here, they don't give a damn, they just run around in this sh-t like it's nothing, crazy fu-kers, crazy.
He was sliding but managed to pull the car to a stop, idling halfway on and halfway off the interstate. He got it. He knew it. It just came to him, and he felt triumphant on the one hand, stupid on the other, because it was so easy to see, it was hard.
The guy was doing the robberies when the weather was bad, like really bad. Like shi-storming bad. Like today! He grabbed his cell, hit the partner's number, hit the precinct number, hit 911, fuc-, he needed somebody to get over to that Wells Fargo branch right now, if it wasn't too late. Now!
He had timed it perfectly, even down to the different times of today when the snow would be falling. It had been clear when the bank opened, so it opened just like normal. By now they probably were getting ready to call it a snow day and close up, but not just yet.
He pulled in right at the front doors, right beside the big, black, brand new Lincoln in the reserved spot, the bank manager, no doubt. The car had to plow its way through the drifts to stop and park it, but it made it fine. It might be a beater, but the engine was sound and the four wheel drive still worked. Everything for a reason, right? His own Lincoln was stored away for the winter, along with the Lexus, and the Jag. No reason to risk damaging good cars like his out in this weather, some crazy people out here in the winter, well, in life really, never can be too careful. With that thought, he stepped up out of the car and made his way to the doors of the bank's entrance, pulling the mask down into place just as he stepped inside.
Clockwork, it went like clockwork. Like it always did. Up over the counter, politely say, "On the floor, girls", everybody looking, everybody frightened. Next, check for those alarm buttons, not that they'd do much to get some cops here faster than the snow would allow, but again, just a habit. Pull back and chamber a shell, let the loud clack of that register. Then, to the drawers and scoop, bag, scoop, bag, just the twenties, fifties, hundreds. Eyes moving, always moving, looking, looking, not at the people all laying down scared shi-less, but looking for the cart, a money cart. Sometimes he'd get one, sometimes not. Get one of those, the take makes it worthwhile, instead of fifty or sixty thousand, three or four hundred thousand, worthwhile.
And then he was done, duffel bags loaded, gun up. He did them one up, he went down the line, past every teller station, and pushed hard on all of the alarm buttons. After a farewell, a bow, a thank you, he was out, adios amigos.
They watched him come out, the bags of money over one shoulder, the shotgun still propped over the other. Watched him go to his car, the one right flush in front of the door. Watched him get in, watched him start it up, watched him just sit there and patiently let it warm up. "What a cocky son of a b-tch is this guy, the weatherman is. That was it, his name, we'll call him the Snowman, or Snow Robber, or Blizzard Bandit, or whatever. We got his ass!"
They gave the signal and squad cars began to turn into the parking lot, moving at a snail's pace, but coming. They stepped out of the unmarked, left it running, and bending down to fight the wind, they made their way through the snowdrifts to his car.
Yep, it was really turning into a humdinger, he'd heard that word somewhere and it sounded cool. He saw them as soon as he opened the bank doors, but carried on as his usual self doing his usual thing. So they'd finally figured it out, huh? About time, after fourteen robberies he'd figured out one thing for sure, there wasn't no Tubbs and Crockett up here in the North, and this sure wasn't Miami. Speaking of, he might just head down there soon.
As soon as he saw them hop out, he ducked and rolled, out the passenger door, and into the snow, down deep. He bear crawled behind the manager's car, and when the two cops were mid way in the lot, he readied himself. He was running for it, didn't look back, if they shoot, then he's caught, if not, they didn't see him, and he's gone. He made it. To their car, open the door, slam the door shut. Slow roll on around the lot, out the drive thru exit just as the squads start pulling in the front entrance, blocking it off.
As he was pulling away he saw them, the whole swarm of them, swat team and all, approaching his car, slow and purposeful. Geez, he hoped them detectives didn't accidentally get shot, especially by, oh Lord, one of their own. Wonder what kind of a medal they get for that one?
The drive to the airport went, well, like everything else, smoothly. He had figured the flights might be down or cancelled, for sure delayed, and he was right. Good thing he didn't show up here until three hours after the boarding time was supposed to be. It wasn't hard to offer the woman a thousand dollars for her seat, and as the 747 lifted into the skies after clearing the runway, he sat back in the seat, looking out the window at the snow and the whiteness. 
"Hey, where you going buddy?" the man across the aisle asked. "I'm going to Miami." was his reply. "Got to get away from here. The weather here, you can hardly get out and do the things you need to do sometimes, like, uh, go to the bank. Yep, I sure do hate the snow!"

© Copyright 2018 DavidPaul. All rights reserved.

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