The High-Speed Credit Pursuit
The High-Speed Credit Pursuit is a story I wrote in the summer of 2000 simply to see if I could write a convincing story on such a topic, after reading a couple of similar ones myself. The events transpiring in this story are fictional, all characters are fictional, and all locations are fictional, and any similarity to actual people, places, and events is purely coincidental. Enjoy!
It was beginning to get dark in the town of Carinthia, Virginia, home of Engleman University, and its 15,000 law-abiding students. That is, except for two students. Two juniors, Amanda McPherson, and Hillary Randallsworth, enjoyed a good heist now and again.
Around campus, Amanda and Hillary both appeared to be upstanding, law-abiding students. However, when night fell, these two innocent-looking students became cold-blooded criminals, out to have a good time at the expense of unwitting third parties. To them, a good time was to rob people of anything of value that they carried on them – cash, checkbook, credit cards, jewelry – in order to ruin them financially. It gave Amanda and Hillary a great sense of superiority – a feeling of power, if you will – to have in their hands the power to drive someone to bankruptcy by overdrawing their victim’s bank accounts, running up enormous bills on their credit cards, and selling off any other items of value that they may find during one of their heists. It was like crack for the ego. It provided an incredible high, and left them wanting more.
Amanda and Hillary first got to know each other during their freshman year at Engleman, when they were assigned together as roommates in Ashford Hall. It was uncanny how similar the two girls were in their interests. Both enjoyed the same kinds of music, they wore the same kinds of clothes, they used the same brand of toothpaste, and they both shared an enjoyment in committing robberies in order to boost their self-images. After their freshman year, they decided to continue living together off campus. With their parents’ help, they purchased a house in a nice section of Carinthia.
The reason that these two were able to get away with their dastardly deeds was in part due to their upbringing. Amanda and Hillary both came from very upscale families – Amanda in San Francisco, and Hillary in New York City. Both girls’ parents were the cream of the social crop back home, and made obscene amounts of money. The checks that they sent to their respective daughters were almost always in five-figure amounts. With large amounts of money coming in on a bi-weekly basis, there was no reason to believe that all of the items that they acquired with the credit cards were not acquired legitimately.
On this particular Friday night, Amanda and Hillary were sitting in the kitchen of their house trying to decide what to do that night. “Well, Hillary,” Amanda said, “it’s Friday night. We’ve read the books, we’ve done the homework, and Bunty went home for the weekend. That leaves us nothing to do, and it’s boring.”
“Good ol’ Bunty went home,” responded Hillary. “You certainly will be bored this weekend. Well, we could always go to the frat party over at Tau Sigma Omega…”
“That’s so boring. All those guys ever do is just sit around drinking beer and trying to pick up women,” replied Amanda. “Bunty wouldn’t want me to go to that.”
“What about the movies? There’s that new action flick on at the Regal at 10:00,” suggested Hillary.
Amanda countered, “I heard that movie got some pretty poor reviews. ‘Sleeper’ is a better word for it, from what I hear. I don’t want to pay eight bucks to go somewhere and go to sleep. I can do that for free here.”
“You make it tough for a girl to figure out what to do on a night like this!” exclaimed Hillary, starting to get frustrated from lack of enthusiasm for her ideas. “Hey… what if we go do something a little out of the ordinary today?”
“Such as…?” inquired Amanda, who was not quite sure she wanted to go along with this idea.
“Well, we haven’t done anything REALLY fun in a while, if you know what I mean.”
“I am NOT going bungee jumping off of Zane Sedgwick Hall again. Remember what happened last time we did that?” replied Amanda.
“No, no, no, nothing like that. I mean off campus,” said Hillary.
“Hmmm…” pondered Amanda. “Does this have to do with little peons that we find on the street?”
“Are you thinking of a little crack for the ego here?”
“I’ve seen that smile before. You think that we, criminals of the highest order, should strike again?”
“YES!” Amanda exclaimed, with a big smile going from ear to ear. “So what should it be this time? The Burger King? The Pick-and-Pack?”
“No, no, no… that’s too easy. This time we should strike where people are guaranteed to have all their money and their cards on them, but in easy reach,” explained Hillary.
“And this would be…?” asked Amanda, in a questioning tone.
“ATMs!” explained Hillary, with a smile on her face. “We go to banks with walk-up ATMs, and watch for someone to come up to make a transaction. We then pull up like we’re going to take out some money, too, and then as soon as they enter their PIN number, we get out, with guns in hand, and nail ‘em.”
“I like where this is going…” commented Amanda, as the two girls figured out the specifics of their plan.
When they had determined their master plan, their first item of business was to acquire a vehicle, which they did. It would be far too easy to get caught if they used their own vehicles. The vehicle that they stole for this scheme was a 1991 Toyota minivan, belonging to the president of the bowling club, who carelessly locked his keys in the car. After a quick picking of the lock, they were inside and in possession of the keys.
For this string of robberies, Amanda and Hillary made sure to disguise their identities as completely as possible, so as not to be identified. They knew that the two mistakes criminals made most were no masks to hide their faces, and no gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints. As this was not their first crime, they had this down pat. For this particular crime spree, Amanda chose a long trench coat to disguise her figure, two pairs of white surgical gloves doubled up to conceal her fingerprints with added security should one glove rip, and a large gray-and-blue hat to hide her hair (as hair can be analyzed for DNA), which she had placed in a bun. To top it all off, Amanda chose a red bandanna, worn bandit-style around her face, to conceal her identity. Hillary dressed somewhat differently. Hillary chose long blue jeans and a light blue hooded raincoat to hide her figure from any possible watching eyes’ attempts to identify her. She, too, wore doubled-up surgical gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints. As the hood of her coat sufficiently concealed her hair, all that was left was a mask to complete the outfit. For this job, Hillary chose a dark-blue bandanna, which she also wore bandit-style over her face. Amanda also carried a cellular phone with her, just in case. And with powerful handguns cleverly concealed but ready at a moment’s notice, no victim was any match for Amanda and Hillary.
Amanda and Hillary were certainly not dumb. They knew that the police made their routine patrols all over town. However, because of Carinthia’s very low crime rate, they found that the patrol routes could be reliably predicted within three minutes. They knew only to hit areas where they were sure that police would not be, and knew to be gone by the time they were expected to drive by. With this knowledge in hand, and with Amanda at the wheel, the two of them slipped out of their driveway in their stolen van, and went out for a night of crime.
They found their first victim preparing to use the ATM at the Carinthia Bank on Market Street. She was a female of average build, and appeared of average wealth. In Carinthia, being a college town, the average wealth is being short of cash assets, but with many credit cards of all kinds. With their first victim in sight, Amanda nonchalantly pulled the car up in the space next to their victims’ car. As soon as they caught sight of their victim entering their PIN number, they made their move…
“FREEZE!” shouted Hillary, with her gun trained on her victim. “DON’T MOVE A MUSCLE OR SAY A WORD!”
“Just do as we say, and you won’t get hurt,” added Amanda. “If you try to get away, scream, or otherwise try to attract attention, we will fire our guns straight through your head.”
“What is going on?” asked their victim, frightened beyond belief.
“What does it look like?” asked Hillary rhetorically. “Now get on the ground, and don’t move!”
Amanda and Hillary’s victim complied with Hillary’s request, and the two girls started to work. The first thing in order was to ensure that their victim could not get away, to keep her from telling police. “Put your arms behind your back!” barked Amanda. With that, Amanda reached into her trench coat, and pulled out a roll of duct tape. Amanda then placed the end on her victim’s right wrist, and proceeded to wrap the tape around her victim’s wrists several times. She then proceeded to her victim’s ankles and knees, and did similarly.
After Amanda did this, Hillary came up to their victim, with gun still trained on her, and asked, “Any last words?”
Oh, my God, they’re going to kill me now, she thought. She finally asked them, “What do you two want?”
“We’re going to rock your world in a way that it’s never been rocked before,” replied Amanda. “But for right now, we’re going to make sure that you keep quiet, and don’t attract any attention.” And with that, Amanda ripped off several pieces of duct tape and placed them firmly over her victim’s mouth, ensuring her complete silence during their heist. “Now,” said Amanda, “You search the car, and I’ll search the girl.”
“Why do you get to search the girl?” inquired Hillary.
“Because I said so,” replied Amanda. “Now let’s get this done, and get going!”
Amanda’s search of their victim yielded up a purse full of valuable items, as well as some jewelry. The jewelry was not worth very much, but still worth taking for the emotional distress caused to the victim, causing a greater high for Amanda and Hillary. In the purse, it seemed that Amanda hit the jackpot. Upon Amanda’s finding of an Engleman University ID card, she learned that they were robbing Samantha Brown, who they knew to be the student chair of the University Program Board. She also found $150 in cash, her checkbook, as well as her friends Visa, Discover, and MasterCard, as well as a 500-minute prepaid phone card, courtesy of her friends at AT&T. Hillary’s search of Samantha’s car proved equally fruitful. She found several department store and gas station credit cards, a driver’s license, as well as her personal friend American Express. After this, Hillary went over to the ATM machine and withdrew all the funds from her checking and savings accounts.
“All right, Samantha,” said Amanda, “We’re going to go now. You’re going to stay there as you are.” Hillary then grabbed the back of Samantha’s shirt and pulled her up to her knees. Amanda got right in Samantha’s face, pointed her gun directly at her, and told her exactly where she stood. “And don’t forget, Samantha – we know your name, your address, and your social security number. If you dare cancel any of these cards, or if you so much as tell anyone about us – listen carefully – we will come back, and WE WILL BLOW YOUR LITTLE GOODY-GOODY HEAD CLEAN OFF! Understand?” Samantha nodded her head yes. “Good. Come on, let’s go.” Hillary then let go of Samantha’s shirt, and Samantha fell back down to the ground uninjured, though severely shaken.
As Amanda and Hillary went back to their van, Hillary couldn’t help but comment, “Did you see her face when we first surprised her? That look was priceless!”
“I know,” added Amanda. “It was hard not to laugh when she made that face.” Amanda and Hillary then got in the car, and drove off. “Keep your mask on in case someone is watching us! Besides, this night isn’t over yet!”
“What do you mean?” asked Hillary.
“Well,” replied Amanda, “sure, this was nice. Sure, I feel very full of power right now. In fact, I feel on top of the world! But if completely and utterly ruining the life of one person will make us feel this powerful, and give us this big of a high, think about what a second will give us!”
“I like your thinking!” exclaimed Hillary. “Plus, it’s only 9:30. The night is still young! Any ideas on where to hit next?”
“I was thinking the First Atlantic Bank ATM on Mason Street,” replied Amanda. “There’s a lot of credit card-toting people over there on Friday nights getting money for kegs. The police were there on patrol ten minutes ago, and won’t be back until 11:00.”
“True, true, true,” said Hillary. “So what’s keeping us from going over there?”
“Nothing at all!” exclaimed Amanda. “Let’s head over!” And so Amanda and Hillary headed over to the First Atlantic Bank. Upon arriving, they found their second victim. Their victim was another female of average description. Amanda and Hillary again nonchalantly pulled up next to their victim’s car, and as soon as she entered her PIN number, they began to descend on her…
“STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! DON’T MOVE A MUSCLE!” shouted Amanda, with her gun trained on she and Hillary’s new victim, as they began to move in.
As the two approached their now petrified victim, Hillary came in close, right next to their victim’s ear, and quietly told her, “Do exactly as we say, and you will be fine. If you decide not to comply with our orders, be prepared to meet somebody who is not out to be your friend. It is my gun. You may look at the gun. If you try to get away, or if you try to attract attention to yourself, or otherwise attempt to impede us, you will be meeting this gun right between the eyes. And rest assured… I have no problem pointing it at you and pulling the trigger. Understand?”
“Yes,” said the victim, in an extremely frightened tone.
“Good. Now get on the ground, and my friend will have her way with you, while I take care of your financial situation,” explained Hillary. With that, Hillary moved over to the ATM machine, and depleted her savings and checking accounts.
In the meantime, Amanda went to work on her victim. “Put your arms behind your back!” she ordered, and proceeded to pull out her roll of duct tape, and wrap her victim’s wrists several times. After this, she did similarly to her ankles and knees. Finally, she told her, “Turn your head towards me,” and she placed several pieces of tape firmly over her lips. With their victim fully incapacitated, Amanda proceeded to search for valuables. She wasn’t wearing any jewelry except for piercings, but her wallet contained a few bucks, her American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and her Discover, as well as all her major fuel station credit cards, and cards for several large department stores. Amanda also found their victim’s driver’s license, and she turned out to be Miriam Adams, one of the resident advisers in Ashford Hall during their freshman year, whom they did not particularly like, and had wanted to seek revenge on since being written up by her for a supposed alcohol violation in April of their freshman year.
After draining Miriam’s savings account, Hillary first joined Amanda, pulled Miriam up to her knees, and told her what she needed to know, directly in her face, “Remember – we know your name, we know where you live, and we know your social security number.”
Amanda then added, “So, Miriam, if you even so much as tell anyone about this incident, call law enforcement, or cancel any of your credit cards, we will come back, and we will blow your runty little Resident Advisor head off! Understand?”
“Mmmph!” uttered Miriam through the tape-gag, as she nodded her head.
Following this, Hillary pushed Miriam back onto the ground, and, like she did before with Samantha Brown, searched the car for any valuables. Finding none, she turned to leave the vehicle and again join Amanda. When Hillary turned away from the vehicle, what she then saw made her do a double take. Blinking her eyes for a moment to make sure she was seeing what she thought she saw, she realized that what she saw was correct. Despite their extensive charting of the police patrol patterns, they had somehow gotten ahead of their schedule, and were now caught in the act, as a police cruiser began to turn into the parking lot. Hillary now yelled to Amanda, “Look!”
“All our planning!” complained Amanda.
“What do we do?” asked Hillary?
“Stop everything and get in the car! Over my dead body are we getting busted for this one!” shouted Amanda. And so the two women left Miriam Adams, though completely incapacitated, to her own wits, and sped off, away from the cruiser, which was by now flashing its lights.
As the officer shouted to Miriam that he would call for another officer to come and free her, he started on his pursuit of the two robbers in their stolen vehicle. The two women soon learned that the Toyota minivan, despite its ten years, its less-than-high-performance engine, and its size, was still a very powerful getaway vehicle. Despite the fact that the cruiser was the newest in the Carinthia Police fleet, Amanda, driving the minivan, still managed to maintain a considerable lead over the cruiser. She took the van up to 40, then 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and then 100, before topping off at around 108.
“Amanda, what do we do?” asked Hillary, considerably upset. “I’m from high-class New York society! My parents would cut off my privilege to use the yacht if they found out that I was involved in something like this!”
“Who are you to complain about this?” asked Amanda. “I’m from high society in San Francisco! My parents will stop letting me use our private jet if they find out that I was involved in two robberies and a high-speed chase!”
“So what do we do?” Hillary inquired.
“Drive like mad, of course! I’m going as fast as I can go, but I need your help. Take my gun, open the rear sunroof, and shoot at the cruiser. See if you can make him go off the road,” replied Amanda.
As Amanda snaked through the streets of Carinthia and then out into the country at over 100 miles per hour, Hillary climbed into the middle seat, opened the sunroof, and stood up and faced the cruiser, which by this time had considerably closed the gap. With her guns loaded, and more bullets at the ready, Hillary started shooting. She managed to hit the cruiser several times, shooting out a headlight, and damaging the hood. But this didn’t stop the officer in the cruiser. With one headlight out, just as Hillary was about to fire another shot at the cruiser, this time straight at the officer inside, the officer rammed the rear bumper of the van, causing Hillary to fall back into the van, firing a shot at the sky in the process.
“What on Earth does that officer think he’s doing?” asked Amanda, staring in the rear view mirror in complete surprise. She again floored the pedal, and again commanded the power of 108 miles per hour. “Hillary, are you all right?”
“Just bruised my pride. Now that officer is going to get it!” said Hillary, extremely ticked off by the brush with the cruiser, which she then realized was the “newest and best” cruiser in the fleet, according to the Carinthia Times. She reloaded, climbed back up out through the sunroof, and began firing again, this time leaving some bullet holes in the windshield, with the bullets being lodged in the seat next to the officer. “Well, what do you know? I always thought that these cars were supposed to have bulletproof glass! NEWEST AND BEST CRUISER, EH??? CHEAP, IF YOU ASK ME!!!” she roared. The officer again rammed the rear of the van, again throwing Hillary into the floor, but this time, jarring the rear of the van sufficiently to knock the rear hatch open.
“Hillary, close the back!” shouted Amanda. “It’s harder to drive this thing with the back hatch open!”
“And risk my life while you’re going 100 down a rural road?” asked Hillary. “Are you nuts?”
“Well, do something, then!” pleaded Amanda. “Anything!”
In order to keep the police cruiser away or perhaps even spin it off the road, Hillary continued shooting at the vehicle, causing the officer to have to duck and dodge in order to keep from being hit by bullets. This continued until Amanda had an idea…
“Hillary, get back up to the front and buckle in! This isn’t our car, and we probably won’t ever be driving this car again, so what the heck,” explained Amanda. “If we brake quickly, the cruiser will probably be rendered undriveable, and we’ll be relatively fine.”
“Great idea!” exclaimed Hillary. “Hit it!”
And so Amanda braked, and the cruiser slammed into the rear of the minivan. However, when the minivan sped up again and continued, the police cruiser, while damaged, was able to proceed as well, and at full speed. “It didn’t even faze him! Amanda, we’re never going to lose this guy!” screamed Hillary.
“Look back in the back,” Amanda suggested. “See if there’s anything that we could throw at the car to break the windshield out completely.”
“Let’s see… something to throw…” said Hillary, as she climbed back once again. After a search, she found… “A bowling ball case! And inside is a bowling ball! And a heavy bowling ball at that!”
“Perfect!” exclaimed Amanda. “Launch that sucker back onto the cruiser’s windshield, and we ought to be home free!”
“Yeah! With all those bullet holes I put in that ‘bullet-proof’ windshield, it ought to snap like a twig!” added Hillary. “Well, only one way to find out for sure!” Hillary then threw the bowling ball out of the back of the van, and hit the cruiser’s windshield square in the middle of the driver’s side, landing in the officer’s lap, causing him to let go of the wheel, as he instinctively reached up to catch the ball. As a result, the officer lost control of the car, veered off the road to the left, smashed head-on into an embankment, and then as the car more fully came in contact with the embankment, while still going forward, the cruiser’s entire driver’s side slammed into the embankment. The officer barely escaped, though escaping uninjured, by scrambling out the passenger-side door as quickly as he could as the impact came. Inside the van, jubilation ensued.
“We did it!” shouted Hillary. “We got rid of the cops!”
“Yeah! Give me five, girl!” exclaimed Amanda, full of pride after having pulled off another fine robbery, with enough valuable information to make Samantha Brown and Miriam Adams regret that they ever went to the bank that day. “Keep your mask on in case anyone is watching us, though. We’re not out of the woods yet.”
After the two were sufficiently away, Amanda drove the battered minivan off to the side of the road, put a cloth in the window to make it appear to be a breakdown, and left the keys in the ignition. “I hope he has insurance,” commented Amanda.
“And an extra bowling ball,” added Hillary.
Before abandoning the van, the two women closed the hatch and took off their robbery gear. They put their robbery gear in the bowling bag, and headed to the nearest gas station, half a mile up the road. Once there, Amanda called Al’s Cab on her cell phone, which took them back to their house in Carinthia.
Upon returning home, the two women collapsed in the comfortable chairs in the safety of their living room. “We did it!” said Hillary. “We scored once again!”
“Yes, we did,” said Amanda. “We ruined two people, and we evaded the cops. I feel on top of the world right about now. Why couldn’t we do a robbery every day?”