The bank teller sat in the police station with two other witnesses. Seven suspects stood in a line-up safely behind the glass. The teller imagined the men wearing sun glasses, waving guns and shooting out the servalance cameras.
“It was number two and number seven,” she said. It wasn’t hard. “It was definitely them.”
The others quickly agreed. “Yes. Number two and number seven.”
“How certain are you, on a scale from one-to-ten?” The policeman asked, though he was already convinced by the mounting evidence.
“Ten, absolutely ten,” the teller confirmed.
Twenty minutes later the police had both men in separate interrogations. They each volunteered confessions.
“I wouldn’t normally do something like rob a bank.” His name was Jake, but the police were still calling him number two. “I’ve been out of work for months. We already lost the house and I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. That’s why I used a toy gun. It was painted to look like the real thing but I was never going to shoot anyone.” He looked down, shamefully.
“You’re partner had no problems using a real gun.” The officer quipped.
“He’s not my partner. I showed up alone. I pointed the toy gun at the teller and told her I wanted the money from the safe. She gave me this weird look like I was crazy for asking. I told her again but she didn’t move. I looked over the counter. That’s when I saw the other guy. He was dismantling the silent alarm.”
“You’re telling me, two strangers decide to rob the same bank at the same time?” The officer stood-up to add some drama.
“I know it’s crazy but that’s what happened!” Jake said, on the cusp of tears.
“So you shot the surveillance cameras?” The officer tried to strike a nerve.
“No, the other guy did. I told you my gun was a toy.” The toy was his best and only defense.
“Forget the gun. You still robbed that bank. All that matters is that everyone thought it was a real gun. We have enough evidence to put you away for twenty years, but there is one thing you can do to shorten that sentence. Tell me where the money is.” There wasn’t anything illegal about exaggerations.
“I never got any money.” Jake frowned.
“I have three eye witnesses that say you left with a bag full of money.”
“There were two bags. The other guy and I decided we should just split the cash and leave. We figured there was no sense in fighting over it. Not with the police coming.”
“Where is your half?”
“There was no money in the bag. I drove out of town before I opened the bag. It was full of paper.”
“That’s not true.” Now, the officer was just pouring salt in an open wound.
“It is. The other guy was more prepared than me. He was prepared, and I wasn’t!”
“Didn’t he make the teller fill up the bag?”
“I don’t know. The safe was already emptied into those bags when I got there.”
“Two million dollars is still missing!” The officer leaned in hard.
“I don’t have it.”
Down the hall, the other interrogation was heating up.
“I don’t have the money!” Frank , or number seven, slammed his fists on the table.
“Don’t tell me that other nut has it.” The officer knew just what buttons to push. He could was good at working the ones with short tempers. “He wouldn’t have lasted three minutes if it wasn’t for your planning. He brought a toy gun for heaven sakes!”
“I wish I had the money!” Frank ground his teeth. “I planned this job for months. I took out the silent alarm and the cameras. Besides the teller, there were only two people there. I tied them up. I made the bank teller open the safe and fill the bags. I saw her put the cash in those bags.”
“Then where did all that money go?” The officer smiled briefly just to annoy Frank.
“I don’t know how he did it but that nut with the toy gun knows more than either of us. He’s playing dumb. He has the money and he’s making fools of us both!”
“You left the bank with one of those bags. Did you not?”
“Sure I did. He took one and I hauled the other around the corner where my driver was parked. As soon as I got in the van, I checked the bag. It was just paper.” Frank’s face turned redder as he relived his anguish.
“You really think ‘number two’ pulled one over on you? I hope you don’t expect me to believe that.”
“I don’t know how he did it but yes.” It actually hurt for Frank to admit it.
In the reception area all three witnesses, including the teller, were getting an explanation from an officer.
“Thank you for all your help.” An officer smiled warmly. No need to put the victims through any more.
“We have partial confessions from each of the suspects.”
“Only a partial confession?” said the teller.
“They’re both pointing fingers at each other but none of it will stand up in court. They’re both guilty of armed robbery. We just need to find the money.”
“What do you think happened to the money?” The teller seemed shaken at the thought.
“They’re hiding it. Two million is a lot of money. Anyone would be willing to spend a few years in prison if they knew they had a two million waiting for them.”
The witnesses filled out all the necessary paperwork then left the station.
The teller walked back to her car, opened the door and sat down. She sighed, and glanced at the passenger seat where a ticket to Peru sat on two large bank bags. Two million free and clear.