The caper movies I’d seen over the years had led me to understand that a major robbery was a complicated affair, and yet the movies had somehow glided over those complications; if a gang needed a truck, or a centrifuge, or a Warsaw telephone directory, they simply got one between scenes, when no one was looking. The truth I was living turned out to be equally complicated, but much more difficult.
There were so many elements to the thing. Either some way had to be found to borrow a truck from Twin Cities Typewriter on the afternoon of the robbery, or some other Ford Econoline van would have to be stolen and stored and repainted with Twin Cities’ name and colors. A uniform had to be found for Eddie Troyn to match the uniforms worn by the bank guards. The names and addresses and home phone numbers of the late-staying bank employees had to be learned, to cut down the possibility of a double-cross–a teller, for instance, phoning police headquarters rather than his wire. A typewriter had to be picked up somewhere for delivery to the bank, and it had to be the same color and make as all the other typewriters used there.
Then there was the laser.