This is the thirtieth part of a fiction serial, in 824 words. It may contain some swear words.
A busy ten minutes in Debden.
Graham did his best to look surprised, even though he raised his hands a little too early. Carl pointed the AK through the open door at the driver, and Panda opened the other door and dragged him out unceremoniously.
Both men were taken behind the lorry, and Carl shouted at Graham. “Come with me! What’s the code?” Kenny and Duggie were positioning the vans as best they could as Graham gave the code to Carl, who pressed the six numbers into the keypad at the rear.
As the door was swung open without setting off any alarm, Panda smacked the terrified driver over the head with the AK, then dragged him underneath the vehicle.
Inside, they could see the wire cages full of notes wrapped tightly in plastic. Alan shouted at Graham. “How much in each packet?” Visibly trembling, Graham replied after wetting his dry mouth with his tongue. “Two hundred and fifty grand in each one. Five mill in each cage, eight cages”. Alan nodded at Carl, who cracked Graham over the head with the AK, then rolled him under the lorry next to the driver. “You two stay still, and not a word!”, he bellowed at them.
It was easy enough to work out. Eight cages amounted to forty million quid in unmarked, used twenties. Alan’s heart was beating faster now.
He turned to Carl and Panda. “We will take half. Empty two cages into each van. Any longer, and we might get rumbled”. With Mickey Moon helping, the four men got busy. Carl was inside the back, throwing out the plastic-wrapped bundles. Alan, Panda and Mickey grabbed them and ran to the vans, flinging them into the back through the open doors. As soon as one van had forty packets in the back. Alan closed the doors and shouted at Duggie. “Off you go, and take it easy!”
The second van was loaded even faster, with Kenny helping. Then the others jumped in the back, sitting on top of the stacks of cash. Kenny slammed the doors, and drove out of the lay-by, taking it steady, and using his indicator as he rejoined the road. Nobody was talking, and all of them were breathing very hard, pulling off the masks that were making their faces hot.
From the time they had threatened Graham and the driver, until they were almost a mile away from the scene, only ten minutes had passed. Panda started chuckling as he patted the stacks he was sitting on. Alan waggled a finger at him. “No laughing until we are clear, and back at the warehouse. And let’s all hope that Duggie hasn’t driven his van to somewhere we don’t know about”. That wiped the smile from Panda’s face.
Although the drive to Epping Forest was less than ten miles, they had to use back roads and lanes where possible, to avoid too many CCTV camera captures. When Kenny drove into the forest car park almost forty-five minutes after the job, Duggie had already loaded the cash into the Telephone Company van and opened the doors of the Post Office van to be ready. With all six men helping, the job van as soon unloaded. Alan nodded at Kenny and Duggie.
“Well done boys. I will drive the red van, and Carl is driving the Phone one. You lose the white vans and I will see you back at the warehouse, okay?” He turned to the others. “Panda, you’re with me, Mickey, you go with Carl. Don’t forget, you’re going south, the long way round, and we will go straight from here to Leyton”. As they drove out of the car park, Panda turned to Alan. “We didn’t need those numbers after all. So I was number three for nothing”.
Lighting a cigarette. Alan let that remark go.
There were so many Post Office vehicles on the road into East London, the van never got a second glance. They were back in the warehouse less than an hour after leaving the forest car park. Opening the heavy door of the shipping container, Alan unloaded the packets from the van and stacked them inside. Then he covered the stack with the bags of fertiliser that were already in there. Panda was screwing up his face. “What a stink!”
Carl didn’t get back for another hour, and he looked nervous. “It’s bound to be all over the news by now”. Alan smiled. “Calm down. Reg will be here soon, to collect Graham’s cut, and Teddy’s too. Meanwhile you can sort out the rest. One stack for Graham, one for Teddy, another for Lugs. One each for Duggie and Kenny when they show up. Then the rest is a three-way split for you blokes. I’ve already got my half”. He looked at the three men carefully.
If they had intended to jump him and take everything, now would be the time.