Real Life 2010: One
I’m working on projects this afternoon, trying to focus, but I’m distracted. Helicopters hover nearby. For over an hour. Loud helicopters. Yes, black helicopters.
Don’t worry. They were not here to invade iTulip headquarters in our Boston suburb where MIT and Harvard graduates come to breed and avoid sending their offspring to second rate public schools. They rather spend their money on expensive homes and high real estate taxes than on that and private school tuition to boot.
It’s a place where you see a SWAT team as often as a giraffe. Yet as I tool the back roads to town on an errand, a SWAT team is exactly what I encounter. I take this picture through my windshield.
I have no idea what’s going on. Police everywhere. Camera crews and reporters from local stations are on the scene chasing the police who are chasing who knows what.
After I pass through the commotion on my way to the store I call my wife on my smart phone and ask her to turn on the TV to find out what’s going on.
Nothing reported. Robbery, she suggests.
When I pull into a parking lot a few minutes later I launch a browser to search Google News. Turns out a couple of bank robbers held up a Bank of America branch in the next town. Here’s how it went.
The two execute a brazen armed stickup. They get on the highway in a stolen getaway car, police in pursuit. They get off at an exit near my neighborhood. They ditch the car on the road I was on. The police find the car with guns inside. At a roadblock they catch one of the suspects who bummed a ride to the nearby mall to "see his girlfriend" from an 81 year old man--it's unclear how they knew he was in the car--and surround the house I’ve passed after a renter who lives on the second floor calls the police. He reports hearing a break-in downstairs.
The SWAT team doesn't find the bank robber in the house. As I drive home, this time on the main roads to avoid the scene, I encounter two police cars as they continue to search the area looking for the missing thief.
In the movies, a clever detective on the scene notices that the second floor renter’s driveway is empty and asks the man who called the police if he owns a car and, if so, where is it? In real life the detective doesn’t think to ask, and the man who called the police is too freaked out by the SWAT team in the yard to notice that his car is missing, at least not until it's too late.
About an hour after I get home the local press reports that the second bank robber stole the car keys from the renter’s jacket hanging inside the door and made his second getaway in a second stolen car, driving past the police and back onto the highway, headed west.
By the time the police figure this out, the bank robber is long gone. They're looking for a 2007 Burgundy Volvo X90, Mass. Registration: 75XX90. If his partner doesn’t spill the beans, he got away with it.
Note to police: We know, it’s harder than it looks.
Note to bank robbers: Ask Bill Black about robbing banks. If you go to jail, you’re doing it wrong. (See bestwaytorobabank)
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