The Go-Go Cat
Yes, I had noticed the re-emergence of the straight boot in the fashionably dressed. It does bring back memories of when I was training and setting out in this business – including a time I was with my mentor and we had to secure the young lady living in the house we were visiting.
I had been working with him for a few months by then, and had progressed to the stage of been able to be left alone to ensure anyone we came across did not interrupt. So when we paid a visit to a manor house on the outskirts of Nottingham, I was watching in the main room as he searched upstairs. For a moment, I looked round, and there was a picture of a young woman with long auburn hair, wearing a pink leather waistcoat and hot pants, a long sleeved white blouse and white go-go boots standing next to a car with a Texas number plate.
So you can imagine my surprise when the door opened, and said young lady walked in – I hadn’t even heard the front door open and close, but I knew I was going to be in trouble if I didn’t do something to stop her raising the alarm.
So I literally ran across the room and grabbed her, putting my gloved hand over her mouth before she even had a chance to scream. Oh my, she struggled, but I stayed calm, and held her as I quietly told her to calm down, I was not wanting to hurt her, but she would get hurt if she kept going in this way.
It took a while – and I was actually more worried about what my mentor was going to say – but she eventually agreed, and as I took my hand away I asked her why she was home. Turned out the film she had going to see was not showing – so she came back, and found us.
But that then raised the obvious question – what was I going to do to stop her raising the alarm? Looking round, I saw a knitting basket, so I told her to lie down on a red leather chaise longue which was in the room, and to put her hands together in prayer. She nodded and asked what I was going to do as she walked over, lying down and adjusting her waistcoat before she put her hands together.
I smiled and said I was going to make it difficult for her to move, then took a ball of blue wool from the basket and using it to secure her wrists tightly together, making sure I took the wool around and between her arms. Her blouse was tight to her arms below the elbows, so I made sure the binding stayed on top of the white material. I then pet her put her hands on her lap, and wound the wool out a little before I crossed her ankles and secured them together as well. I then played the wool back up and tied it between her wrists again, before I cu tit loose with scissors – and then put the scissors well out of her reach.
The question than, of course, was how to keep her quiet – but I heard footsteps then, so I told her to be quiet as I put my hand over her mouth, and looked to the door. When my mentor walked in, he was surprised – as was she – but he walked over and checked the knots, then said I’d done a good job before he left the room for a minute, and came back with a roll of brown sticking plaster. He tore a strip off, told her to smile, and then stuck the plaster over her lips before he nodded to show I should leave with him.
I did glance back at her as she twisted round, the pink leather of her clothes squeaking as it rubbed on the red leather pf the seat, and her muffled moans reaching my ears…
A few years later, after I had ‘graduated’ I was looking round a flat in Gosforth, a lovely town north of Newcastle, when I heard the front door opening and closing down the stairs. I was dressed casually, but I put on a pair of sunglasses to cover my eyes, found something in my pocket I felt I may have need of, picked up my holdall which had the jewels I had found amongst the other contents, and slowly walked down the stairs.
I could see the door to the front room was open, and as I stepped inside I saw a woman, about my height, standing there in a blue dress, with short sleeves and a wide collar, dark tights and a pair of black lace-up shoes. Her light brown hair was cut short, but the way she looked at me as I showed her the gun in my hand was all I needed to see.
And on, it was not a real gun – but it had the desired effect, as I heard footsteps and I put my finger to my lips to indicate she should be quiet. She nodded and then looked to the door as a strawberry blonde walked in, the skirt of her grey and white print coat dress swaying as she did so, the heels of her knee length tight bronze leather boots clumping on the wooden floor.
“What’s up,” she said as she looked at her friend – and then she turned and saw me, raising her hands as I told them they would not be hurt, if they did what I said.
Well, I was fortunate in that they both agreed, so I told them both to kneel down in front of the wooden couch in the room, and lean forward with their hands behind their backs. As they did this, I put my bag down where they could see it – as well as the gun – and took from the bag some pre-cur lengths of white washing line, which I used to secure their wrists together behind their backs.
I then put their ankles together and bound them with two more lengths of rope – in the case of the second girl, the rope rubbing on the leather making that soft squeaking sound, but they were too busy trying to tell each other to be brave to take much notice of that. Once I had their wrists and ankles secured, I told them both to sit on the floor – which they managed to do – and then I adjusted the skirts of their dresses to protect their modesty before I used two white scarves I had in my bag as simple, but mildly effective cleave gags.
Effective enough that, combined with the fear I could see was still in their eyes, I had time to get away before anyone heard their calls for help…
As I became more experienced, I lost the gun – I found that remaining calm but firm still had the desired result. But from time to time I found I was visiting those who liked to dress like they had as a younger woman.
Case in point – this was in 1983, and I had broken into a flat in South London, which belonged to a girl I had found out worked as a dancer in the West End – thus meaning she should not have been home before midnight, I had more than enough time to get in and out.
That at least was the plan – a good plan by most accounts. But not on this night. I had only just got in, and was searching through the drawers in her bedroom, when she walked in, looking as if she had been a backing dancer for Lulu some years before.
She was wearing a classic paisley patterned mini dress, in blue and green with a round collar and white knee length go-go boots made from white PVC with zippers up the back.
Well, it was an awkward moment as she looked at me, and I looked at her, and then she sighed as she said something about not again, and at least her insurance was up to date. I nodded, and apologised for the fact she was bene robbed again – but I also needed to ensure she was kept out of the way. The drawer I had opened had a selection of long chiffon scarves inside it, and she had an old fashioned bed with a rounded metal headstand and a straight metal grille at the foot, so I told her to lie on her back on the bed, and to hold the headboard with her hands.
She smiled, and said it was a change for someone to say please, as she I selected two light blue scarves, and then used them to tie her wrists to the headboard so that her arms were stretched out to the sides. I then took two black ones and tied her ankles to the foot of the bed as well, not stretching them out as much, but enough.
She twisted round as we talked, and she agreed to tell me where her jewels were – nice pieces as well, but some were of sentimental value to her, so they stayed. When the time came, however, I needed her to be quiet, so one more scarf – a red one – was folded and pushed into her mouth. I didn’t do anything else – I wanted her to have the chance, when she was ready, to call for help, but she didn’t try to push it out until long after I had left.
How do I know? I read her story in the News of the World – I was the Gentlemen Robber in that article. Hope my protégé never finds out…
All of us ‘old lags’ have the stewardess story. So this is mine – it’s a short story, but it does fit in with the theme of these tales.
The house was in Birmingham, and when I managed to get in it was early evening. Three women lived in the house – all of them working for a European airline – so I took my time, selecting only the very best items they had.
So I was about to leave, and as I walked down the front door opened, and said three stewardesses walked in. but they were not in their usual outfits, but instead in a seventies throwback outfit – grey double breasted coats over beige mini-dresses, and white knee length boots as well as matching kid leather gloves.
Well, I looked at them, said good evening and asked if they would allow me to pass, but one of them asked if ‘I had just robbed them. When I said I had, they asked me if I had ever seen a film where a man held some stewardesses hostage.
I had – but I told them I was not like that man, then watched as they looked at each other before the one who had spoken said good. But they wanted to be hostages – and would I help with that, make sure they could not raise the alarm?
Well, a gentleman never refuses a request, so I asked if they had any rope in the house. When she said yes, I said she had to go and get it – and remember, I had her friends as my captives. They actually giggled as I said that, before she walked off, the other two removing their coats before she returned with some wrapped coils of brown rope for washing lines, and a pair of kitchen scissors.
So I told her to cut two lengths off of about ten foot, and hand them to me, then stand with her hands on her head. She watched as I tied the wrists of her two housemates behind their backs, making sure I took the rope around and between their arms, and then told her to put her own hands behind her back, as I cut another length of rope off and tied her wrists together as well.
I then told them to walk up to one of their bedrooms, following them up as they went into a room. I then told them all to sit on the floor and cross their ankles, all three watching as I cut three more lengths of rope and then tied their ankles together in the same way as I had tied their wrists. I also secured their legs together with more lengths of rope, before helping them one by one to lie on their stomachs, pulling their ankles back and tying them to their wrists. It’s not the most comfortable way to bind someone, but it was in line with what they wanted as I did that.
I then made my way to the bathroom and found a roll of white medical tape, bringing it back and putting a strip over each of their mouths, listening to them trying to talk and watching as they wriggled round, then leaving when I was sure they would be all right…
I recently had to do a home security visit for a young wife in the country nearby, and she wanted a ‘practical demonstration’ of what might happen if someone broke in. I do that service now as well, and as I arrived she came and stood in the door of the manor house. She was dressed in a classical style – a mustard coloured dress with short sleeves, a gathered waist and a collar that would not have looked out of place in a classic Yves St Laurent show, dark tights, and knee length brown leather boots with two large buckles on the side and a real seventies style block heel.
At any rate, I did the security assessment, and as we talked over it she served coffee. In the main, she was happy with my suggestions, and we signed off on them – and then she asked if I would do the practical demonstration. Given the location, and the way she was dressed, I offered to show her how a mannerly burglar would make sure she could not raise the alarm. She agreed to that, so I went to my car and got the supplies I needed.
Coming back in, we went to the dining room and I asked her to sit down on a chair I pulled away from the table. As she did so, that finishing school training came in, and she sat with her ankles together and to one side.
I took a length of soft white rope from my bag, and walked behind her, talking all the time as I took her arms around the chair back and tied her wrists together, then secured them to the central spar of the chair back. She tried to move her wrists, and nodded as I took longer ropes, and tied them round her waist to hold it against the chair back, then round her upper arms to make sure they were fixed to her sides.
Walking round, I knelt down and bound her ankles together with more rope, and then secured them to a front leg of the chair, before I secured her legs together below her knees as well. I then asked her how she felt, and she replied she felt as if a robber had tied her to a chair. But he had done it without hurting her.
I reminded her I was a mannered intruder, as she wriggled round, and I returned to the bag of supplies, taking out a blue silk square and folding it into a pad before I said she had to be quiet now, so she needed to open her mouth. When she did so, I pushed the folded scarf in, telling her to just let it sit on her tongue and close her lips. I then took a wide roll of micropore tape, tore a long strip off, and pressed it firmly over her lips and jaw so that I could see the shape of her smile underneath.
I sat and talked with her for a while, before I untied her – but she did wonder if her husband would do it for her as well…