Taking the takings
The owners of Flintwick Hall were always ready to participate in any money-making venture, so when a local charity wanted to stage a country fair, they were more than willing to make their grounds available, at a price. Events like this should help them to attract more visitors to the Hall itself, and the various exhibitions and events that were held there. That was their reasoning.
Some of the Hall's own staff would be employed at the Country Fair, where their specialist skills were needed. One of these was Maggie Berry, whose contribution to the event was her accounting and organisational skills. The event was going to attract hundreds, maybe thousands, of customers paying £5 each, and this much cash needed to be handled responsibly. The staff on the entry booths were casual, poorly paid teenagers who needed to be monitored. Maggie's role was to match the number of ticket stubs to the amount of cash received, and a dusty, shabby room on the ground floor of the Hall, by the kitchens, had been designated as a temporary office. There was no furniture except a table, covered in Formica, which served as her desk, and an office chair. A big comfortable one with wheels, and a seat that revolved. Something to be grateful for, she thought, considering how sparse her surroundings were.
Maggie, an attractive divorcee in her late forties, was glad of the extra pay for the weekend's work. She was happy not to be meeting the public, too. In her first two years at working at the Hall, she had been in a role where she greeted the visitors, and twice, the visitors hadn't been what they seemed. They had liked the exhibits so much that they had stolen them. Both times, Maggie had been threatened, frightened, bound and gagged. That wasn't going to happen this time. She was in an office of her own, and she wasn't going to meet the public. A low risk assignment, she thought. A no-risk assignment, in fact. Just the cash, the accounts books and herself. What could go wrong!
As the event drew to a close, the two police officers on duty were thoroughly bored. They were here because a police presence was traditional, at events like this. There wasn't much chance of a disturbance, but the public were reassured to see them there.
PC Paul Greene saw it as an easy assignment. These country fairs didn't attract criminals, the worst that ever happened was that someone got drunk, or a lost child had to be reunited with its parents. On this occasion it was also a chance to hang out with WPC Judy Munro, who was on the same shift as him. She was a divorced officer in her early forties (his own age), who was, as far as he knew, unattached. He was usually attracted to skinny blondes, but the cuddly brunette, with her hearty sense of humour, was beginning to distract him from that preference. She was an ideal person to spend a boring afternoon with. Now it was getting close to the end of the event, and so long as nobody decided to run off with the takings and the charity donations, the two officers would have had it easy.
They were standing together, behind the rows of seats which had been arranged for spectators of the dog show, and behind them was a six foot hedge. This, they knew, was part of a maze. Earlier in the day, they had both wandered into it, but they hadn't gone far. They agreed it wouldn't look good if the two officers, who were there to protect the patrons, were to get lost inside the maze.
PC Greene was wondering if today would provide an opportunity to get to know WPC Munro a bit better. He had just wandered over to the portable gents toilet, and on his way back, stopped to study her, from about thirty yards away. She hadn't noticed him.
He had to admit she looked pretty good today. Dark hair mostly inside her navy blue hat, with the chequered band. The black stab-vest concealed her generous bust, but the dark blue skirt didn't hide her plump bottom, and her legs looked good in the dark tights, even in the sensible black lace-up shoes. Her crisp white shirt, buttoned at the neck, was fastened with a chequered cravat that matched her hat-band. Her only concession to the hot weather was that her sleeves were rolled up neatly above her elbows. Paul imagined her without the stab-vest, he had stared at her breasts a few times in the past, when she wasn't looking. Suddenly she glanced his way, and smiled. He quickened his pace, hoping she hadn't noticed him staring at her.
"Managed to maintain order?" he joked as he stood next to her.
"It was a struggle " she laughed. "Hope it stays this quiet".
Their luck was about to change, however. Suddenly a woman appeared next to Judy, in a panic
"Thank god you're here. My little girl's lost, in the maze. I told her not to go in, but she did, and now I can't find her". She stopped for breath. ".I've been calling her, but she won't come out. Debbie, where are you!" She yelled, as if to make her point.
"Is she all right?" asked Judy."I mean, is she in good health?"
"Oh, yeah, she's just being naughty, I think" said the woman. "I just don't want to go in on my own, I could get lost too".
Silly cow, Judy thought. She looked the woman over. She was dressed quite shabbily, a black sweatshirt over blue denim jeans, with grubby white trainers. Her light brown hair was pulled back into a pony tail, but most of it was hidden under a Burberry baseball cap. A bigger-than-usual pair of sun glasses hid her eyes as well. Judy, with her police training, immediately realised that it would be hard to give a useful description of the woman, but that didn't seem like a problem at the moment . She wasn't to know that it would be a big deal in the near future. "How old is she?" Judy asked, getting resigned to the fact that she was going to be dragged into this business whether she liked it or not.
"She's seven, poor little thing" said the woman, suddenly sounding upset. "She's probably terrified"
"She's probably having a whale of a time" muttered PC Greene, facing away from the woman but audible to Judy. "Children, your department, I think" he added. "I had better keep as eye on the proceedings here".
"Thanks a bunch" she replied grumpily. She could have added that finding lost kids was just the kind of incident that they were there for, but it wouldn't make any difference. And it would relieve the boredom of standing here.
"So which way did she go, exactly? " she asked the thin woman.
"This way" the woman headed for the wood-framed gateway that led into the maze.
A few minutes later, deep inside the maze, there was no sign of the missing child. "Why don't you shout to her?" said Judy, unable to hide the exasperation in her tone. "We must be near the middle by now". There wasn't a reply, and that prompted her to look round. The woman wasn't there! She certainly had been, but now she was gone. Judy didn't know how long it would take to find her own way out. She went round a right-angled bend and found herself in a small triangular open area. At one side there was a wooden park bench, and a pathway led away from each corner. It was the middle of the maze. And no lost child! What was going on?
"Are you there?" Judy shouted."I'm at the centre. Where are you?" Nobody replied, then Judy turned to one of the corners as a figure appeared. She recoiled as a heavily built man appeared. He wore a "scream" mask, but otherwise was dressed the same as the thin woman. A faded black sweatshirt and grubby denim jeans, with scruffy white trainers.
"No need to shout" he said, a hint of humour in his voice. As he spoke the thin woman appeared behind him and quickly stepped over to one of the other pathways. Judy tried to think of a response. She couldn't fight these two, could she? The man was big, too big.
"You better give me those handcuffs, officer" he said, not in a threatening way. He doesn't expect me to resist, she thought. There was an option open to her though. After unclipping the cuffs from her belt, and moving "as if she was going to hand them to him, she suddenly hurled them upwards, over the hedge. All three of them watched as the handcuffs sailed up, then down, into the hedge, not on the hard ground.
"I don't think so" said Judy triumphantly. She was still uncomfortably aware that she was outnumbered. Could she bluff it out? What was their motive for luring her here? She decided to act like a professional, knowing that the consequences were probably beyond her control.
"I'll start by asking who you are, and why did you report a missing child?" she said in a tone as dominant as she could manage.
"No time for questions and answers " said the man, reaching toward her and grabbing her right hand. Pulling her toward him, while twisting her wrist, he said "you're in the way, you and your mate. We'll deal with you first".
Judy might have looked rather chubby to her attackers, but she kept fit and was up to date with some self defense techniques that weren't included in the police training. She flexed herself and spun away from the man, causing him to loosen his grip slightly. That was the moment when the skinny woman pulled a handgun for the rucksack, and, holding it with both hands, yelled "freeze!" in a voice that Kojak would have been proud of.
Judy stopped in her tracks, breathless. "Yes, you do what we say and you won't get hurt" the man barked. He had been caught off guard by her resistance, and seemed to be shamed by the way the woman had taken the initiative. He turned to her and muttered" There wasn't any need for the gun, not yet".
"Yeah, I could see that" she replied. "Let's get on with it. The other copper's going to come looking for her soon, let's sort her out, quick."
Judy felt a fresh surge of panic. Sort her out, what did that mean. It was soon apparent. The woman thrust the gun toward her colleague and delved in the rucksack again, pulling out a new-looking roll of silver tape. Judy, realising she was going to be taped up, couldn't help feeling indignant, how could they just treat her like this. Like some farm animal, to be kept still and quiet.
"I'll do her" said the woman. "She's a cop, she needs to be taped properly. We don't want her wriggling free in five minutes". She pointed to the bench. "Sit there" she addressed Judy, then as Judy obeyed, said "Watch out for her mate" then to Judy, who was trying to position herself comfortably on the bench "Don't make this difficult or I'll think of ways to make this worse for you".
Judy thought of a sarcastic reply, but, as the woman pulled her hands behind her back, decided not to risk the consequences. "I won't " she said meekly, as her wrists were placed in a crossed position behind her. Then there was the sound of the tape being pulled from the roll, reminding her of another incident she had been involved in. The tape was being wrapped tightly round her wrists. She couldn't help feeling an unwelcome, but undeniable, tingle of excitement, knowing that she was a prisoner now. The woman continued wrapping the tape round her wrists and forearms, then ripped it, moved to the front and squatted in front of her. Judy watched helplessly as the woman placed her feet together, crossed her ankles and began taping them together with the same speed and efficiency that she had applied to her wrists. Judy tentatively moved her hands, but it was about all she could to flutter her fingers. She tried to force her wrists apart, but as she did so the woman looked up at her.
"What're you doing?" she said impatiently.
"Nothing, really " said Judy. The woman must have felt the slight movement as she struggled. She felt rather resentful suddenly, wouldn't anyone struggle in the circumstances? The woman got to her feet. The man, gun in hand, was pacing from on pathway to another. She hoped Paul didn't come looking for her right now, or he would be captured as well.
The woman passed the tape between her arms and her body, just above her elbows, and drew it tight, twice, forcing her arms back, and her breasts forward. At least with the stab vest, my boobs won’t be popping out, she thought. This tape wasn't sticking to her skin at least, her rolled-up sleeves cushioned the effect of it. But now her captor was winding it tightly round her upper body, from shoulders to waist, pinning her arms to her sides. How much more was there going to be. She knew she was way beyond the point where escape was possible.
The woman looked at the roll of tape, and then at Judy, and decided that she was fastened securely enough. She tore the tape, and commented on her work "You aren't going anywhere. You'll do. Just need to shut you up".
Judy wasn't surprised at this. She had hoped they wouldn't gag her, but she had known they probably would. Criminals who had bothered to tie her up as thoroughly as this, they weren't going to leave her able to shout for help. The woman noticed that Judy was watching as she tore off a six inch strip of tape.
"Nothing to say?" she said. "Not going to beg me not to gag you?"
"No" said Judy. She wasn't going to suffer the indignity of pleading, only to be laughed at, and be gagged anyway.
"Suit yourself" said the woman, leaning forward, stretching the length of tape between her hands. "Been tied up before, have you? Bound and gagged, as they say in the newspaper? "
"No!" said Judy emphatically, though it wasn't true. The woman was right, that's what the newspapers said in this situation. When she had been captured by those criminals, a few years ago, the newspaper reports had said exactly that. "......fled from the scene. WPC Judy Munro, who had tried to detain them, was discovered bound and gagged in an outbuilding" There had been a number of newspaper reports, she had kept the cuttings. She still had them somewhere.
She had been treated like a heroine for a while, but she had soon tired of her friends and family asking about it. And now, here she was, captured, being bound and gagged, all over again. She sat motionless as the woman spread the first strip across her mouth, from side to side, then added two more pieces, in an X-shape. "She's done" she announced.
"No sign of her mate" the man commented. Are we going looking for him, or will he come to us?". He turned to Judy, who sat on the bench watching them. She didn't plan to sit still, she intended to get out of here, but she wasn't going to do anything while they were still here. She realised that if she showed any sign of trying to escape, she would find herself taped up even more thoroughly. "I wonder if he'd come, if he heard her yelling for help. Take the tape off her mouth and make her yell".
Judy froze. What were they going to do? Some unpleasant act of violence, that, being bound, she wouldn't be able to resist. She didn't want to think about it. But luck was on her side, in a small way. "I'm not taking that gag off her" said the woman. "Go find him, or I will. I'll tell him the kid is still lost, and the policewoman has gone off somewhere. Then he'll come looking and we'll fix him up too. You'll have company " she said, turning to Judy.
Judy couldn't help blushing. Her female colleagues were a bit jealous of her, being on duty with PC Paul Green. And quite soon, he might be here, staring at her, bound and gagged. The trouble was, these two were here as well. "I'll be back with your friend" said the woman, just before she departed along one of the pathways. After a few minutes Judy heard her again, shouting "Where are you, Debbie?"
Judy's heart sank, as she imagined PC Paul Green falling for this, rushing over to help, and being captured as she had been. But something happened to distract her, an unwelcome something. The masked man sat beside her on the bench. "Looks like it's just you and me for a few minutes" he said quietly. He put an arm round her shoulder and drew her toward him. "Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything that she will see when she comes back. I'd love to get a handful of your boobs, but I wouldn't get your buttons done up quick enough ". Squeezing her toward him with his left arm, he dropped his right hand on to her knee. His hand slipped under the hem of her skirt. "There's time for a little fun though" he said, grinning.
Judy squirmed and wriggled in his grasp, as much as a tightly taped woman could. She was no match for him in the long term of course, but her unexpected struggling had thrown him off balance. It was all he could do to grab hold of her to prevent her from falling to the ground, seizing her by the shoulder and pulling her forward. Just as she fell forward across his lap, she heard a voice. The woman had returned, surprising both of them.
"Can't find that copper " she said. Then, accusingly. "Can't trust you for a moment, can I? What's going on?"
"Nothing, it's her. She was trying to get away!" he protested. Judy could just about turn her head far enough to see the thin woman's disdainful expression.
"Looks like it!" she muttered.
"She was, I was just about to slap her a bit, make her stop, you know".
"Oh, go on then" said the woman. "Maybe it'll take your mind off wanting to do it to me. Give her a good spanking. A dozen slaps on her fat bum, and she won't feel like struggling "
Judy couldn't believe her ears. It was like being trapped in a Carry-on film. But it was real enough. His hand pressing her down, the other hand caressing her bottom, positioning her for what was to come. Titillation for him, thought Judy, indignity and punishment for me. The first smack was not as hard as she feared, enough to sting, but not really painful. She squealed into her gag, but that seemed to excite him, the next two slaps were more vigorous. Sensing this, she endured the rest of the spanking in angry silence. By the twelfth smack, she was, in spite of herself, beginning to think that it could be fun, in different circumstances.
And then, the worst possible things happened. The woman’s voice was the first warning.
"Shut it, and do what I tell you, or your girl friend gets a bullet"
Judy realized that the girl friend in question was her. Glancing sideways she saw PC Green, held at gunpoint, staring at her. His expression was one that she hadn't seen before.
She had been trying to make a good impression on him, on every shift they had shared, presenting herself as a mature woman of some dignity and sophistication. And now here she was, bound and gagged, over a stranger's knee being spanked, before his eyes. She was just grateful that the man hadn't pulled her skirt up and her knickers down, like in the erotic fiction that she occasionally read.
The arrival of PC Green and his female captor interrupted these proceedings. Paul Green was ordered to sit on the bench, and the two criminals lifted Judy back into a sitting position almost next to him. She watched with a racing heart as he was taped up in the same was as she had been. It was pretty obvious that the pair of them weren't going to be getting away on their own. The binding was far too thorough. He looked her in the eye. "Whatever this is about, they don't want us. They just want us out of the way. Isn't that right?" he turned to the male criminal. The man turned to him, surprised to be questioned in this way.
"Suppose so. You're right, we got work to do. Better gag him, you’re the specialist" he turned to the woman, who was grinning as she pulled a strip from the roll of tape. Judy felt the anger building up inside her as she watched. The woman had the same sneeringly contemptuous expression as when she had taped Judy's mouth a few minutes ago.
Once PC Paul Green had been silenced with the tape, the pair stood back. "How long have we got?" asked the woman rhetorically. "We could have some fun, give them some fun even".
"What d'you mean? "asked her companion.
"We got lots of tape left. We could tape them together, face to face. They'd probably like that. I bet these two have the hots for each other! " She looked pleased at her own ingenuity. "Or, get this! We put her, tape her to him, kneeling down like she's giving him a blow-job".
Judy felt herself blushing furiously, while Paul, who had been giving her a reassuring glance, suddenly turned away. She had visions of fellow officers arriving and finding them taped together in that undignified position. She wondered too what he was thinking. Was he imaging himself, bound and gagged, receiving a blow-job from his tightly taped colleague?
But fortune was on her side. The man was more pragmatic than the thin woman. "No time for that" he said. "And, we need that tape. What if there's more than one, you know"
"Right" she agreed. "Let's get to it".
I was right, thought PC Green. There's a bigger job afoot. They have grabbed us to keep us out of the way, while they pull off some robbery. Must be something big, he told himself, to justify the abduction of police officers. He was trying to think about something else, but as Judy suspected, he was imagining how it would be to be on the receiving end of a blow-job from his bound colleague.
While the pair began to shuffle about on the bench, testing the strength of their bonds, the two criminals, trying to look like members of the public again, strolled towards their next appointment. The mask was now stuffed into the waistband of the man's jeans. It wouldn't be long before it was in use again.
It was getting towards the end of the day, and Maggie Berry wasn't expecting any more cash to be brought to her office. Well, not so much an office as an outhouse, attached to the ground floor at the back of Flintwick Hall. it had a cement floor and no fixed furniture. She assumed that it had once been used by gardeners. On a hot summers day none of this mattered, it was cooler in here than it was outside.
Maggie wasn't wearing her usual "meeting and greening " uniform today, firstly because she didn't expect to be meeting the public, but also because it was too hot for things like ties and waistcoats. She was wearing one of her uniform white shirts, over a pair of cerise cotton shorts, but today it was open at the collar, loose at the waist and had the sleeves rolled up past her elbows. She wasn't wearing tights today, and her feet were keeping cool in white flip-flops.
She had finished bagging up the takings, mostly cash, adding up to just over £7000. It amazed her that anybody paid the entrance fee to a stately home with a cheque, but nevertheless there were some. It was nearly an hour since the last bag of takings from the gate had been brought to her, by one of the disinterested teenagers who manned the gates, so she wasn't expecting to hear anybody outside her office. There were definitely footsteps, though, and she thought she heard a voice. She suddenly felt vulnerable, here she was alone with a large amount of cash.
There had been two previous robberies at Flintwick Hall. On both occasions the robbers had been caught, and the stolen property recovered, but both times the criminals had captured Maggie and tied her up. It had been frightening at the time, but also embarrassing. That side of it went on for weeks. Everyone she knew had read the newspaper reports about her being found bound and gagged. Some of them wanted to know exactly how she was tied, and how it felt. The sort of questions she wouldn't dream of asking anyone. Even one of the paying visitors asked her if she was the woman who had been tied up in the robbery. Fortunately that was all in the past, but remembering it made her uneasy. She got up from her folding chair and walked over to the door. She really should have locked it earlier.
Just as she placed her fingers on the key, the door was pulled open from the outside. Her heart flew into her mouth as she saw the two figures at the door, one wearing a "scream” mask and the other wearing big dark glasses. As she stood open-mouthed, they rushed in, pushing her inside.
The woman slammed the door and turned the key in the lock, while the man grabbed Maggie by the upper arm. Although taken by surprise, Maggie immediately noticed their nondescript clothing, the mask and the sunglasses. The man was gripping her arm so tight that it hurt. As she instinctively pulled away he gabbled "Do what we tell you, then you won’t get hurt". He sounded breathless as if he couldn't get the words out fast enough.
"You're hurting me" Maggie protested, but she stopped pulling against him. She knew from her past experience with criminals that it was best not to provoke them. Once they had what they came for, they would leave. Hopefully without doing her any harm. She felt a stab of apprehension as she recalled that while she hadn't been harmed in the previous incidents, she had been left bound and gagged. She felt butterflies in her stomach as she remembered how that felt. Were these two going to tie her up as well?
"Is that all the money?" the man demanded, gesticulating at the cash on the table.
"It's all that's come so far" said Maggie. A sudden brainwave made her think, if they thought someone was coming, they might be in a hurry to go.
"How much is it, you've been counting it" he asked, in a no-nonsense tone.
"Seven thousand " she said.
"About what we thought" the woman chipped in. "It'll do. You, better get down on the floor" she addressed Maggie.
Maggie looked down at the dusty floor. She hadn't looked closely at it before, but It was some sort of cement finish with no top covering. She didn't fancy the idea of lying on it . Glancing at the woman, she noticed that she was now holding a roll of silver tape. A shiver ran up her spine, a tingle of fear or excitement. She was going to be taped up, that much was obvious. The woman was getting impatient.
"Face down on the floor, can't you hear me?" She raised her voice.
"I'll sit, thanks " said Maggie, lowering herself to the concrete floor. "I know what you're going to do, and why should I be uncomfortable?" As an afterthought she added "You've got what you came for".
The woman didn't reply, but the man commented "she's right. Just tape her up, it's not like she's going to get loose any time soon. Not the way you do it".
Maggie didn't like the sound of the last remark. She realised she was going to be tied up, and she could handle that, mentally and physically. So long as they just got on with it and then left. She knew that if she didn't turn up at the committee room with the days takings, someone would come looking for her. At worst, it would be an hour or two. But she didn't relish being at this woman's mercy. The man seemed quite harmless and indifferent, but there was something menacing about the way the thin woman spoke.
As she positioned herself on the hard floor, wondering how uncomfortable she'd feel after a couple of hours sitting here, the woman squatted behind her. Without a word, the woman pressed her hands together behind her back, wrists crossed, and began to wrap them with the silver tape. Tearing the tape, she leaned in front of Maggie and spread a strip of the stuff across her lips, from one cheek to the other, then followed it up with a second strip, much longer, winding it round her head. Then, moving forward, she placed Maggie's feet together, ankles crossed, and wrapped her lower legs.
"That's the basics done" she announced. "Now for some refinement. You like sitting down!"
What's in store, Maggie wondered apprehensively. The woman moved behind her again and drew a loop of tape around her body, just below her bust, repeated the process several times, above and below her breasts, but not across them. Maggie noticing this, wondered if she was going to be fondled. But the woman just pulled the tape tight around her, pinning her arms to her sides. Unknown to her, it was the same technique that had been used on WPC Judy not long ago.
Still behind her, her captor reached forward and passed a length of the tape under her thighs. "Lift your legs, draw your knees up". If she hadn't been gagged, Maggie would have argued, asked why it was necessary. She was already trussed up pretty thoroughly, it wasn't as if she might get free and raise the alarm because of some detail that her captor had missed. Once the woman had wound the tape tightly round her upper legs, she told herself, she would have to roll across the floor to get away.
It was as if the woman had read her mind. Passing the tape under Maggie's thighs, round behind her back, and then repeating the process, her captor drew her knees up to her chest so that she was almost bound into a ball. As a final indignity, the woman placed her hands on Maggie's shoulders and lowered her onto her right side, on the floor.
"Nearly done" she said. "You heard what the man said, I've got a reputation to keep up". She really hadn't finished ;Maggie grunted a protest as the woman looped the tape around her bound feet and drew them backward as far as possible before fastening them to her taped hands. The masked man had been gathering the cash from the table, while also watching his colleague at work.
"She's good, isn't she?" he said to Maggie, as their eyes met momentarily. The woman sniggered and got to her feet, stopping briefly to deliver a hard slap to Maggie's bottom. Her victim squealed through her gag. Unwisely as it happened. As Maggie tried to squirm away, the woman held her firmly, a hand pressing down on her hip, while smacking her bottom again with the other hand.
Looking Maggie in the eye, the woman grinned and said " Don't tempt me" before getting to her feet and turning to the man. "Got it all?" she asked. "No bags forgotten, under the table. Nothing put down that we'll have to come back for?"
"Do me a favour " said the man resentfully. "I make one slip and you go on about it forever".
" The sort of slip that gets people locked up" said the woman in a tone that suggested the conversation was over. Maggie, lying on her side on the floor, noted to herself that the woman gave the orders in this team.
"Better have a look outside, make sure nobody's around, before we go" he said, as if he was trying to take the initiative.
"She's facing away from the door" said the woman, nodding towards Maggie. Take your mask off before you step outside, then it won't matter who sees us. Unless they are coming in, then we'll grab them and tie them up".
"Don't watch us go" the man muttered to Maggie. She couldn't, of course, without rolling over. She lay where she had been put, listening as the door was closed.
She couldn't hear any footsteps outside, but they didn't come back in, so the coast must have been clear. She was on her own. Those threatening people had gone, and she could concentrate on getting free. She wondered what chance she had of getting out of all this tape, before the pair got away from the hall.
Give it a few minutes, she thought. They just might come back. If they did, and found her getting loose, they would tie her up even more thoroughly . If such a thing was possible. She jerked her wrists against the tape, wrapping her hands behind her back. Or rather, she tried to jerk them. Her arms were so securely pinned to her sides that no real movement was possible. Bound into a helpless ball, she doubted if she could even roll over. She decided not to try, for the time being.
There was always a chance that someone might have seen the fleeing thieves , realised there had been a robbery. Rescue could be imminent. She remembered hearing something about a police presence at the event. So much for that, she thought. They were probably loafing about, drinking tea or eating ice cream,, unaware that the money they were supposed to protect had been stolen.