Patty was really scared thinking someone she knew was involved in a robbery like this, and even more scared to tell Lou because if anyone other than he yelled into his wife’s face, that gun he used for protection would be used to teach the yeller a lesson once he forced Patty to remember the voice whether she did or not, Jane stared in amazement of the story and stammered for words that would ease her friends fears, no words could be found.
The bank robberies continued, the only evidence anyone had was a low quality video still of a masked man smiling into the camera as he spray painted the lens, this picture was in the newspaper and the evening news, the police were becoming a laughing stock and the Chief reprimanded the whole force strongly in front of the press, he smiled for the cameras and vowed to do everything in his power to bring the thugs to justice, Chief Buford Thompson aka “Bubba” loved publicity, Bubba’s department was a force to be reckoned with, but these bank robbers were always one step ahead of him, Bubba did his best to reassure the community that leads were being investigated, and made a point to show up after each robbery just in time for the press conference.
The bank tellers huddled together behind the counter, all the customers were being forced down to the floor as two men jumped the counter and forced them to do the same, one man was laughing as he smiled into the camera, he yelled to everyone “Hey Yall watch this, now they see us, now they don’t” he painted the lens with a can of Krylon, “Shut up and just do your job” he was told, one of the others jerked a teller to her feet and forced her to the counter, Open the drawer he yelled into her ear, as she fumbled with the drawer trying to open it, he yelled Stop wasting time and just do it! She found the “Panic Button” that sent an alarm downtown, the mans eyes widened as he realized what she had done, a can of Krylon dropped to the floor, and the one who had laughed at the camera now raised his gun toward this young woman and pulled the trigger.
Running down the street after their first fumbled robbery they realized they had just killed a girl for nothing, the sound of sirens were getting closer and closer, Dammit Joe why do you have to talk so much, and why the hell did you shoot her that wasn’t in the plans, now I have her blood all over me, you could have hit me you know. At the end of the alley a police car turned in, blue lights flashing as it sped towards the gang, they cowered into the shadows as the car rolled to a stop in front of them, with the drivers window partially down came the familiar voice they always heard after a robbery, “You Boys looking for a ride?”
Bubba took it upon himself to drive his patrol car into North Carolina to pick up a local man who was arrested, this man had driven a car hauler under a bridge taking the top layer of cars off and doing major damage to the bridge, rather than take the rap for a traffic/ accident charge he chose to pull a gun and threatened the responding officer, in his drug induced state he was taken to the ground easily and disarmed, these officers did not realize they now had a murderer in custody. Joe was telling tales of bank robberies and offered to give up names and locations in exchange for being released, Bubba wasn’t going to stand for his robberies to be solved by anyone else, if this boy was going to talk Bubba was going to bring him home to do it.
Bubba showed up to the jail just in time to hear that the canary had begun singing early, and now he would not be getting his hands onto him so easy, Joey The Rat as he was affectionately called after this did not get his release either, FBI agents had a few questions for Bubba; he did not smile for the camera when they began their talk with “You have the right to remain silent…”
Where the hell is Joe, he was supposed to be here an hour ago, I guess he wants to be more than the paint guy now since he shot that girl was the reply, when we stuck up the Winn Dixie you should have seen the look on your wife’s face when he noticed it was her he was yelling at, and told her she could stand up, a can of Pabst suddenly hit the wall spraying foam everywhere, Lou’s eyes narrowed and he clenched his teeth tightly, he grabbed his rifle and marched toward the door, this one is off for now, you Boys pick out a new paint man and I’ll be back in a little while, I have a couple of things I need to take care of, he kicked the back door open to find the barrel of a gun in his face, his weapon of choice hit the dirt as he was forced against the wall, “FBI Agents, Freeze” was the sound they heard as all the doors were simultaneously kicked open, it felt strange to be the ones on the floor now.
Patty called Jane the next morning crying, “Have you seen the news?” Jane turned on the TV to see both Chief Thompson and Lou’s pictures being displayed over the words Bank Robbery Ringleaders, Patty learned that Lou had been robbing banks with seven other men, Bubba had been intercepting the calls as they came in and dispatching his officers to the wrong locations, he also picked up the gang in his patrol car after the robberies and drove them away to safety, dropping them off at a warehouse behind Lou’s car lot, and returning to the bank just in time to radio his officers and chastise them in front of the media for going to the wrong branch.
Bubba got a lengthy term in prison, his request to be incarcerated in a facility that had no chance of housing anyone he knew was laughed off by the judge who said “Criminals are housed with criminals and you are one of them”, Lou threatened to kill Patty for not telling him about Joey The Rat, she had kept a secret from him and now it was her fault he was caught, Patty filed for divorce and moved to another town, Lou died in his cell a couple years short of his parole hearing after twenty five years of “good behavior” The Rat was found hanging in his cell with hands and feet tied, not sure how he did this but they called it a suicide, the other six men also spent the rest of their lives incarcerated sharing the charge of felony murder for the life of the young bank teller.
Buster's extra job at night suddenly went away, he no longer got late night calls to do things and go to places unknown, Lou’s son eventually took over the “Family Business”, and made a lot of money even though few cars were ever sold. Jane now worries if an arrest warrant for Buster may come down the street one day, and cringes every time she answers the phone to hear Patty say, “Have you seen the news?”