Thomas Escapes Arrest In Bank Robbery

Thomas Escapes Arrest In Bank Robbery

Thomas pulled himself out of bed and staggered into the bathroom. He had not slept as well as he had hoped he might. Although he wasn’t shaken by the nightmares that had plagued him so badly since the bank robbery, he was still wakeful, and his mind raced with so many thoughts that he was unable to relax. He wished he had not brought up his idea about becoming an Area Boy to Nancy. The last thing he ever wanted to do was upset her. He realised that if he really did feel the need to work the streets in some capacity, he should never have mentioned it to her.

It was nearly ten o’clock in the morning and Thomas was still bleary-eyed and tired. Nancy had rolled over and kissed him about an hour earlier before she slipped out from under the covers.


“I’ve got to go,” she told him.

He grunted, but did not bother to open his eyes. “Where do you have to go so early?” he muttered in a raspy voice.


“Don’t worry,” she assured him. “I won’t be gone for long.”

Groggy and exhausted, Thomas finally drifted off into a deep sleep right at that moment.

As he stood over the sink splashing cold water onto his face, he was already feeling some dread concerning the day that he was about to endure. Kenny had scheduled a meeting, not in their usual basement office, but in a corporate building at Surulere. The team members had been ordered to come to the building wearing business suits so they would look as upscale as possible.


Each member had been designated a specific time of arrival. Kenny did not want them all to descend upon the building at once for fear that it might raise someone’s suspicions. Thomas was ordered to arrive at half-past noon. He hoped he had been slated to be one of the last members to show. He did not like the idea of waiting around for an hour, or perhaps two or three, for the others to report. That would only serve to make him even more anxious than he already was. The way things were going, he just wanted to receive his marching orders and get the whole thing over for the day.

Thomas had hoped that having the meeting in a corporate venue meant that perhaps Kenny had secured a mission similar to the one they had performed for Adekunle and Taylor, one that involved brainwork rather than automatic weapons. He knew the likelihood of that happening was slim, but he could only pray for it.

It was a few minutes before noon when Thomas finally managed to slip into his business suit. He wrestled with his necktie several times because he could not get his fingers to obey his brain’s commands. He had just about completed his Windsor knot when the apartment door flew open. The unexpected sound caused Thomas to jump back startled.



Thomas dashed out of the bathroom at the sound of Nancy’s voice. “Nancy!” he called back. “Are you all right?”

She threw herself into his arms. “I’m better than all right!” she cheered. “I’m fantastic! I have wonderful news!”

Thomas released her from his embrace and looked into her eyes, which were alive with joy. “What’s going on?” he wondered.

She hopped up and down, unable to stifle her euphoric energy. “I got a job!” she announced. “I got a real, honest-to-goodness, legally paying job!”


Thomas’s eyes grew wide with surprise. “Nancy, that’s wonderful!” he responded. “How did you pull that off?”

Nancy was so overcome with excitement that she could not stand still. She skipped about the room with a big smile on her face. “I saw a posting in the newspaper placed by a family that was looking for a confidential secretary,” she told him. “I called yesterday and they invited me to come over to their home for an interview. I didn’t want to tell you about it until it all came through. I’m superstitious that way. I was afraid I might jinx it.”

“You have any IT skills?”

“Years back, I attended a private computer school in Ikeja. I knew how to type before then.”


“What company is it?”

“Clean Wash Detergents, at Oregun. We talked for an hour or so, and then they offered me the job. I start tomorrow.” She wrapped her arms around Thomas and squeezed him so tightly that he had trouble breathing for a moment. “Oh, Thomas, I am so happy!” she exclaimed. “For once, I actually feel like I have a purpose, that I really am a worthwhile human being.”

“I never had any doubts about that,” Thomas replied. He kissed the top of her head.

Nancy pulled back a little and looked up into his eyes. “You know, I owe this all to you,” she said softly.

“Me?” he asked surprised. “What did I do?”

She nuzzled up against him. “You made me feel important and special,” she explained. “You convinced me that my life is worth fighting for and that I should never give up on myself. Thank you, Thomas. I really mean that.”

Thomas held her tight and rocked her in his arms. In his heart, he could not take credit for Nancy’s accomplishment, but he was happy to know that by simply entering her life, he’d had such a positive impact.

Nancy stood back and looked up at him. “Let me fix your tie,” she offered. “It’s a mess.”


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Gathered around the conference table in their business suits with their immaculately organised briefcases, the men looked more like a collection of stockholders discussing a possible corporate merger as opposed to a gang of criminals contemplating their next transgression. Thomas had been fortunate, just as he had hoped, to be one of the last members of the team ordered to report. Having arrived at exactly half-past noon, he was only forced to hang around for thirty minutes until the last member, Fanni with his computer in tow, arrived precisely as the clock struck one.

Wearing a custom-tailored ensemble, Kenny sat at the head of the table next to an older man who Thomas had never met before. Introductions were ambiguous at best.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen,” Kenny greeted, “and thank you for joining us today in this lovely corporate high-rise.”

As if we had a choice, Thomas thought.

Kenny motioned to the man seated to his right. “Our newest client here has commissioned us to perform an extremely important task on his behalf for which he assures us we will be more-than-adequately compensated.”

Thomas studied the man who Kenny had yet to identify with a name. He looked very upper-crust, as if he had never been forced to get his hands dirty since the day he was born. Thomas hoped beyond all hope that the commissioned task, even if illegal, was something of an intellectual nature.

Sadoki produced an enormous cardboard tube, from which he extracted a large paper scroll. Once the scroll was flattened out on the tabletop, it was revealed to be a set of architectural blueprints.

“This is the floor plan for the Choice Bank located in Ogba,” Kenny announced. “The exits are marked in red, the security cameras are marked in yellow, and our objective — the vault — is marked in blue.”

Damn! Thomas thought.

“Our client has provided us with the alarm codes and the security guard schedule,” Kenny continued, “which should allow us to empty the vault quickly and easily with no outside interference.”

“So,” Thomas spoke up, “this is an inside job.”

Kenny glanced quickly at him. “Does it matter?”

Thomas shrugged. He wasn’t exactly sure why he had even bothered to ask. Perhaps he was hoping that an inside job meant they would meet with a reduced amount of resistance from employees, making it less likely that one of them would wind up dead. Thus Thomas would not accrue any new violent scenes to add to his list of nightmares.

Kenny glanced over at the man simply known as ‘The Client’ and then looked back over at Thomas. “If it makes you feel better,” he said, “this mission has some altruistic intentions.”

Yeah, right, Thomas thought. Are we going to rob from the rich and give to the poor? I doubt it.

“You don’t believe me?” Kenny questioned as if reading Thomas’s mind. He leaned back in his chair and flashed a small smile, suggesting that he had been prepared to deliver this particular speech. “I won’t mislead you,” he began. “I accepted this mission for our team because it promises to land us a very healthy chunk of change. Our client, however, is trying to teach the bank’s board of trustees an important lesson about insuring its assets.”

“Aren’t all banks insured?” Jimmy asked.

“They are to a certain degree,” The Client responded.

Thomas was startled to hear the man speak. For some reason, he didn’t expect him to share much with the group.

“This particular bank has chosen to insure its assets to a lower ceiling than most others,” The Client stated in a business-like manner.

“Do they have a specific reason for that?” Fanni wondered.

The Client cringed. “They claim to have several legitimate explanations,” he answered, “but in the end, there’s only one reason that really matters to them.”

“They don’t want to pay the higher premium for the additional coverage,” Thomas blurted.

The Client nodded. “Correct.”

“Thus, we will be evacuating more money from the bank’s vault than the insurance policy will cover,” Fanni added.


“So,” Thomas added, “the loss is intended to teach the trustees to protect their assets more carefully in the future.”


“And it will encourage them to increase their current coverage at their other branches,” Jimmy tossed in.

“Correct.” The Client smiled and turned to Kenny. “You’re right,” he commented. “Your men really do know their business.”


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It was just a few minutes past eleven o’clock at night when the team descended upon the bank. Kenny had chosen eleven as the time for the operation because, although it was after banking hours, it was still during prime nightlife hours, so the sight of a group of people traipsing around the area would not seem suspicious to any patrolling officers.

Thomas was pleased that his was an after-hours mission. He still was not keen on the idea of robbing a bank, but at least this time he would not be forced to wave a loaded gun in the faces of innocent bank patrons and employees. Instead, he was assigned the duty of sentry by the northwest exit. Fanni used his electronic and computer skills to disable the alarm system and the security cameras. Kenny had been given the code to open the vault, but Fanni was ready with a contingency plan in the event that the vault was protected by an undetected back-up security system.

Sadoki was assigned to take care of most of the heavy lifting, whether it turned out to be pushing through Kevlar-enforced doors or hauling large bags of stolen cash.

Thomas stared at his designated door as if it might come to life and attack him. He was packing the same loaded pistol he had waved in the air during the last fatal midday robbery. He gripped it with both hands and pointed it toward the floor, ready to raise it and fire at a split-second’s notice. He felt beads of sweat bubble up on his forehead and roll down the back of his neck. The team had only been inside the bank building for ten minutes, perhaps less, and the collar of Thomas’s shirt was already soaked.

He glanced quickly over his shoulder to see what the other team members were up to. Kenny was down on his knees, rummaging through his toolkit. Sadoki stood over him, waiting for instructions. Thomas could hear their low voices bouncing off the walls, but he could not make out their words. Metal tools clinked and ratcheted, creating sounds that assaulted Thomas’s ears like a series of explosions.

Just a few more minutes, Thomas’s voice rang inside his head, and we’ll be out of here with enough cash to last us for months.

Thomas saw Fanni shuffle nervously from one foot to the other as he watched Kenny and Sadoki manically hover around the vault’s code box. The building creaked and moaned with sounds of air pushing through pipes and various electrical systems turning on and shutting off according to their preset automated instructions. Noises that Thomas would not normally notice during the light of day suddenly sent chills down his spine.

Just a few more minutes…


Kenny’s victory cheer echoed through the bank like the sound of a cork popping out of a bottle of Cristal, or as far as Thomas was concerned, a blast from a rifle. He held his rumbling stomach and turned just in time to see the vault door roll open.

“Nothing to it!” Kenny declared.

Sadoki laughed and gave him a high-five. The two big men were joined by a few others as they charged inside the vault like a group of kids gleefully taking part in a treasure hunt.

The gang barely had time to toss out the first bag of loot when a high-pitched siren blasted through the air. That was followed by the sounds of smashing glass and dozens of stampeding boots emanating from the bank lobby.

“Son of a bitch!” Kenny screamed as he tossed the bag he was holding aside and yanked his automatic pistol from his waistband.

Thomas levelled his gun toward the lobby, but he had no idea at what he was aiming to shoot. The door to the back offices burst open and a battalion of heavily armed policemen, clad in riot gear, barrelled toward the vault. A barrage of noise and shouting announced their arrival.

“This way!” Sadoki ordered and grabbed Kenny by the arm.

Most of the team members followed Sadoki, clambering out of the vault and bolting toward the southeast exit. As they ran, the police turned as a group and sprayed the area with bullets from their assault rifles, completely perforating the southeast wall. Thomas huddled in the doorway of the northwest exit, praying not to be discovered. He saw the silhouettes of the giant bodybuilders twist and squirm until they eventually dropped limply to the floor.

Emptying the last bullet from the pistol’s magazine, Sadoki’s huge frame suddenly span around like a bottle top, blood squirting from the numerous bullet wounds. His face had been full of rage at the betrayal but now, as he headed toward the cold marble tiles that lay on the bank’s floor, it registered nothing. He was already dead.

As he tore his gaze away from Sadoki, Thomas saw Kenny raise his arm, his gun levelled at his attackers. A thunderous report of gunfire followed, and a few seconds later, Kenny the Boss’s body collapsed lifelessly to the floor.

Thomas staggered backward, unable to steady his legs. He wanted to scream, but his voice had left his body. He watched the cops march through the vault area, kicking at the corpses strewn about the room and slipping on the blood and guts splattered all over the floor. He was ready to surrender, to toss his gun across the floor and raise his hands in the hope that the cops would be willing to take him alive. Then again, he could not help but wonder if being taken alive was actually his best option. Perhaps after being in police custody for one night he might prefer to be dead. The gun rattled in his shaking hand. For one split second, he considered raising the barrel to his temple and pulling the trigger.

Out of nowhere, a hand grabbed Thomas’s collar from behind and yanked him backwards. He almost let out a yelp, but a second hand instantly clamped down hard over his mouth. Thomas quickly saw that he was in the grasp of his team-mate, Fanni.

Through a series of gestures, Fanni convinced Thomas to remain quiet and follow him. The cops were busy kicking bodies and cursing the carnage that they would be forced to clean up, so Thomas and Fanni were able to quietly sneak into a back office.

Fanni noticed an air-conditioning vent on the wall. “This will have to do,” he muttered.

“What are you talking about?” Thomas wondered.

Fanni pulled a pair of pliers out of his tool belt and yanked on the vent cover until it eventually fell off. “Hurry up!” he urged in a whisper as he motioned for Thomas to crawl through the gap.

“Where does this lead to?” “How the hell should I know?”  Fanni gasped. “Just go!”

The two men slithered through the vent like ferrets burrowing through an underground tunnel. It was a very tight fit, and Thomas bumped his head several times along the way. Finally, he felt a cool, fresh breeze on his face. He crawled a few yards further and came upon the outlet that led to the back alley.

“How do I get the cover off?” he called back to Fanni.

Fanni pulled a small hammer out of his tool belt and slid it up to Thomas. “Just pound on it until it comes loose.”

Thomas grasped the tool and pummelled the metal cover with all his might. He wasn’t in a position to get very good leverage on his strikes, and the sound of metal banging against metal attacked his ears. “What if the cops hear us?” he asked.

“It doesn’t matter!” Fanni yelled back. “Keep banging! This is our only hope!”

It took a few more hard shots, but the vent cover finally flew off and fell to the ground outside. Thomas crawled out of the opening. He was nervous about falling onto the concrete headfirst, but he had no choice. He managed to take the fall well, and then he stood up and helped Fanni lower his body down to the ground.

Considering all the pandemonium that was taking place inside the bank building, the atmosphere seemed freakishly quiet outside.

Thomas turned to Fanni. “Now what, Wizkid?”

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