A Series of Unfortunate Encounters







I’m a professional – I have trained for years, and I prepare for my work, whatever the circumstances.  What I have discovered, however, is that you also have to be ready for the unexpected to happen.  Usually, that can be done using extra materials I bring with me – but a month or so ago, what should have been a simple, straightforward piece of work took on a completely different meaning.


The target was a large detached house in the North West of London – the sort of place with gates across the entrance, and a wall around the residence.  The sort of place it should be impossible to get into – but inside the house was a large collection of coins, and of silver, and I knew I could get a fair price for them.


It would have been about eleven in the morning when I pulled up in my van, got out and rang the intercom button on the outside of the gate.  The previous evening, I had sent a fake e-mail to say a delivery was coming at that time, and I was wearing a light blue shirt and jeans, with a baseball cap, playing the part of said delivery man.


The intercom was answered by a middle aged woman, and I said I was here to make the delivery.  There was a buzz, and I thanked whoever it was as the gates swung inwards.  Getting behind the wheel, I drove up to the front door, and got out, looking round as I walked to the front door.


The woman who opened the door was in her late fifties, and wore a crimson blouse and a long black skirt, her black shoes just appearing under the hem of the skirt.  She also wore a leopard print scarf wrapped tightly round her head and chin, in the Muslim style.  I had expected that – this was an Islamic home, after all – so I was prepared.


Which is more than she was as she saw the gun I was holding in my gloved hand, and walked slowly backwards as I came in, closing the door behind myself.  Very quietly, I told her not to say a word, but to put her hands on her head as I indicated she should walk down the hall.  I had a bag in my hand, with everything I thought I would need in it, and she was nice enough to comply with what I said.


I guided her into the large dining room, and pulled a chair away from the table – a nice high backed one, with gaps in the chair back and a comfortable seat.  Indicating she should sit down, I put my bag on the table, and opened it to take out several lengths of rope, at the same time reassuring her if she did as I asked, the worst that would happen is she could not move or talk for a while.


She nodded, and did not resist as I fed one arm through a gap in the chair back, and then the other, before I crossed her wrists behind the chair back, and made sure they were tightly secured together, keeping the rope in neat bands and also cinching the binding before I tied them to the chair back.


She grunted slightly as I did this, but as I said – I’m a professional.  Reaching into the bag, I took out a longer length of rope, and started to make sure she was firmly secured to the chair back.  Now don’t worry – I was respectful of her faith and her modesty, so I did nothing to expose or embarrass her beyond the fact the ropes was having on how her blouse fitted.


I adopted a similar approach to binding her legs – first crossing and securing her ankles together, before I pulled them back and tied them to the chair back, and then a final length around her legs below her knees, gathering her skirt around them as I tied it in place.


As I stood up, she looked at me and asked what I was going to do now.  Well, I was honest – I told her I was going to rob the place, but first I was going to disconnect the telephone and make sure she could not call out.


She looked at me, as I took a long length of white cloth, rolled it into a tight band, and then pulled it between her lips, making sure it went round twice before I tied the ends together at the base of her neck.  She looked up at me as I smiled, and picked up my bag, telling her to stay there and not struggle – because if she did, she may hurt herself or worse.


So there we are – the lady of the house secured, and I was free to get to work, which is what I did.  I disconnected the phone, and then decided to make my way upstairs and work my way down to the ground floor.


Now, did you spot what I had not done at this point?  Go on, I’ll give you a minute…


That’s right – I had assumed, given the hour, she was the only person in the house.  So as I walked into the main bedroom, you can imagine my surprise when I saw the woman putting on her pink cardigan, and then staring back at me.


She was in her early forties, and the cardigan matched the long coral pink skirt she was wearing as well, a thin black belt visible as it hung loosely round her waist.  Under the cardigan was a white blouse, and she also was wearing a scarf as a hijab – in her case, a pink and yellow striped one over a black scarf that covered her hair.


Unfortunate – but as I said, I was always prepared, as I pointed my gun at her and told her to remain calm, to do as I said and everything would be all right.  She looked at me, and asked where her housekeeper was – obviously, the woman I had secured downstairs.


I told her she was secured and gagged – something I was now, with regret, going to have to do to her, so I asked her to turn round and put her hands behind her back.  She nodded and did just that, staring out of the window as I crossed and tied her wrists together with more rope, and then secured her arms to her sides, a band above and a band below her chest.  As with downstairs, it stretched her cardigan and blouse, but her modesty was preserved.


She then walked over to the bed and sat down, watching as I crossed and secured her ankles tightly together, before I tied her legs together over her skirt.   Looking at her, I then said it would be less messy if she told me where her valuables were, and then I could gag her and leave her in the room.


She said she did not think she had much of a choice, but she told me where to look, and I took her valuables – as well as removing her rings and watch, before I took from my bag a second long length of white cloth, rolled it into a band, and passed it twice round her head, making sure it went between her lips and teeth before I tied it off, and then helped her to lie on her side on the matress – using a length of rope to secure her ankles to the foot of the bed, and one last length of rope to secure her wrists to the headboard.


So, lady of the house secured, housekeeper secured, and I had obtained her valuables – all I had to do now was remove the battery from her mobile phone, and search the rest of the house.


And, to be fair, there were no problems as I went round the upper floor, loading valuables from other rooms into my bag.  I checked on the lady, who was still there, and turned the radio on to keep her entertained as I walked down the stairs.  The housekeeper was still in the chair – in fact, she had fallen asleep, so I figured I could relax a little while I went to the downstairs office and opened the safe.


Good thinking – except as I put my bag on the office desk, and looked at the office, I heard the front door open and close, and a young voice ask if anyone was home.  Well, it would be rude not to reply, so I stepped out, gun in hand, and said no-one else could reply at the moment.


I could see who had called out – one of two twins.  The girls were the same height, and identically dressed – red long sleeved sweaters, long skirts with a red, white, blue and yellow floral print, and yellow scarves covering their hair and heads.  Not tied as a hijab, but still in a respectful manner.   They both looked at me, and then raised their hands as the own who had spoken earlier asked who I was, and what I was doing in their house?


Well, I was equally honest in replying, I told them I was robbing the house, their mother was tied up in her bedroom, the housekeeper in the dining room – and now I was going to have to tie them up in the office, so they needed to come in there now.


As they walked past, they looked in and saw the housekeeper, and talked quietly to each other as they walked in, their hands in the air.


I had a slight problem though – I had no more rope or cloths.  I was going to have to resort to my back up system – not as comfortable, but it would do the job.  So I told them to stand in the middle of the room, with their hands on their heads, and then took from my bag the large roll of silver duct tape. 


Walking behind them, I took the arms of one of them behind their back, crossed and taped their wrists together, and then wound the tape round their waists to make sure they stayed in place.  As I did this, they talked quietly to each other in some other language, but seemed to be accepting what was happening to them.  Even the fact I removed their watches and rings first.


I soon had the wrists of the other twin secured in the same way, as they looked at each other and tried to move their arms.  With little success, of course, as I told them to sit down, back to back, on the carpeted floor.  Helping them to do that, I adjusted their skirts so that their legs were covered, and then taped their ankles together, as well as their legs above and below their knees, over their skirts so their modesty was preserved there as well.


I then wound the tape tightly round their upper bodies, holding them together with grey bands above and below their chests – and yes, the jumpers stretched, but at least this way I was sure they would not be able to move.


Finally, I left them in the room for a moment, and returned with two clean handkerchiefs.  Folding them, I placed one in each of their mouths, and finished by winding the tape round their heads, covering their mouths but with the scarves protecting their hair.


That used up the roll, but I knew they would stay there quietly, as I managed to open the safe and emptied the contents I could make use of in the bag.  Oh they tried to move, and I could hear their muffled attempts to talk, but as I said I’m a professional.


Once I was finished there, I made sure they were both al right, ran upstairs to check their mother, and then back to the housekeeper – satisfied, it was time for me to move on to the other items in their front room.


I even put on the CD player in the office, letting them listen to music – and coincidentally drowning out any calls they may try to make – and walked into the front room with my bag.  The display cabinets were there for the emptying, as I assessed and looked at the items.


Now, you may be thinking, did this house not have a security system, CCTV, whatever?  Oh it did – but I figured I had time to locate and remove the recordings for the entire day before I left.  Both internal and external.  So I continued with my work, smiling as I did so.  All four were secured and quiet, and…


Famous last words – as I heard the front door open and close again, and two women talking.  Picking up my gun, I walked out of the room to see two women walking to the office, and looking in – and then into the dining room.


One of them turned to try and raise the alarm – but instead she raised her hands when she saw me pointing my gun at her.  She was a little older than the housekeeper – I guessed the grandmother – and was wearing a long white tunic with sleeves turned up just below her elbows, black leggings and black shoes.  Her tunic had a black collar, and she was wearing a purple hijab over a black scarf.


The other woman came back out – similar age, wearing a long denim blouse over a grey and white striped top, and white leggings with white sandals.  She also was wearing a hijab over a black scarf, in her case a light pink one.


The first one asked if this was a robbery, and I nodded to show she was right, then indicated the front room with my gun.  She then asked where her daughter was, so I told them to put their hands on their heads, and to come up to the bedroom with me.


As we walked in, the captive lady of the house looked up, and mumbled something “hnnmmm.”  Her mother – the one in the purple hijab – told her not to panic, the girls and the housekeeper were all right, and that she had done the right thing.


The other woman – an aunt presumed – then said would I be doing the same to them?  Well, I would need to, but I had no tape, and no ropes left.  So I said I would – and I asked her if she knitted.  She nodded, and I asked her to take me to where her knitting basket was. 


It turned out it was in the front room, so I instructed the two mature ladies to sit side by side on a very comfortable leather couch, with their hands on top of their heads.  From the basket, I selected a ball of blue wool, and made a small lasso at the free end, before I instructed the lady of the house’s mother to put her hands together, palm to palm, as if she was in prayer.


Her sister watched as I put the loop of wool over her hands, and pulled it tight round her wrists, before I wound it round them a few more time, and then between her arms to cinch the binding.  From there, I lowered her hands down so that they rested on her lap, and used the wool to bind her legs tightly together below her knees, then played it out and down before I secured and cinched her ankles as well, then cut it with enough of a length to take it back up and tie it to her wrists.


As she tried to move, the wool rubbed on her leggings, wrists and ankles, as I did the same to her sister, making sure she was just as secured.  Normally, I would have secured their wrists behind their backs, but must needs must – and besides, it was getting late.


Picking up two cloth squares, I folded them and pushed them into their mouths, making them promise not to spit them out as I checked the others.  The housekeeper was awake now, and trying to get free as she heard the others, but I made sure the knots were still tight.


The twins were sitting in the office, praying I think under their taped mouths, and as I went upstairs the lady of the house was asleep, snoring quietly as the dark stain in the centre of her gag grew steadily larger.


Going back into the front room, I used two belts from robes to cleave gag the last two captives, before turning on the television, collecting my bag, and leaving the house.  Putting it in the back of the van, I started the engine and drove off, the gates opening to allow me to leave and then closing behind me.


Later that night, I was at my home, having showered and changed.  My fence was taking care of the goods, and I could relax in the way I liked best.  I wrapped my pink dressing gown round myself, with my hair in a turban, and poured a glass of Chardonnay as I sat down to watch Pride and Prejudice.


Like I said, I’m a professional – and it made a change to have so many women to bind so they felt their modesty was preserved.  After all, we women must stick together, no?







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