Characters: Ryo, Dee, JJ, Chief Smith, OCs.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: An armed gang is targeting jewellery stores. Can the detectives of the 27th Precinct catch them?
Word Count: 1174
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 308: Safe at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“It’s okay, you’re safe now.”
Ryo removed the gag and untied the distraught woman. Her once immaculate eye make-up was now in streaks down her face and her clothing was rumpled, while her wrists were rubbed raw from trying to escape the ropes that had bound her hands behind her back. She all but fell into his arms, sobbing, as he released her and he patted her back awkwardly.
“Come on, let’s get you out of here.” The gang that had broken in and robbed the jewellery store had tied her up and locked her in the closet before breaking into the safe. All the jewellery on display had been left untouched; the thieves had only been interested in the uncut diamonds and other precious stones locked away in the jeweller’s vault.
This was the third store the jewel thieves had hit, and once again they’d knocked out the store’s security systems, killed the security guard, and tied up the sales person. Aside from the guard each of the stores only had one member of staff on the premises at the time of the robbery. Whoever was pulling these heists knew exactly what they were doing, playing it safe, picking their moment carefully, not taking any unnecessary risks. The guards never stood a chance.
“Sir, the only way we’ll get these guys is if we have someone undercover in one of the stores, either as a sales person or a guard,” Ryo insisted once he and Dee were back at the precinct, having taken the store clerk’s statement. She hadn’t been able to tell them much; the gang had all been masked and none of them had spoken.
“That’s all very well, Randy, but we can’t put people undercover in every jewellery store in the city. We have no idea where this gang will hit next.”
“That’s not entirely true, Sir; we know they’re targeting places that routinely keep quantities of uncut gemstones in their safes. Only a handful of businesses do that, and we can rule out the three that have already been hit. According to our sources that leaves five potential targets. The main difficulty will be putting our people in place in those five stores without the thieves realising what we’re up to. They’ve probably already cased all their targets and if they see unfamiliar faces they might become suspicious.”
“I think we’d be better off leavin’ the regular staff in place but sneakin’ a couple of cops into each of the possible targets, havin’ them hide out in the back rooms.” That was Dee’s opinion.
“But what about the security guards? The thieves don’t give them any warning; they’re shot on sight!” That didn’t sit well with Ryo; three good men, two of them retired cops, had already been murdered in cold blood.
“We can provide them with bullet-proof vests, keep ‘em safe that way,” Dee suggested.
Chief Smith nodded. “Sounds like that might be our best bet.”
“Vests will only help if the thieves aim for the heart like they’ve done so far. If they catch on and go for a head shot instead…” Ryo trailed off, frowning unhappily.
“There’s always gonna be a risk, whatever we do,” Dee reminded his partner.
“I know, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It’s one thing risking our own lives, but asking civilians to do the same…”
“The sooner we catch these bastards the better,” the Chief said gruffly. “I’m putting the two of you in charge of this operation; pick your people and get them briefed. I want everyone in place as soon as possible.”
“Yes, Sir.” Ryo led the way out of the Chief’s office; he and Dee had their work cut out for them.
Over the next few days, the teams of police officers were put in place and the store guards got accustomed to wearing Kevlar under their uniforms. The main concern now was that the thieves might have already skipped town to try their luck in another city, in which case all the NYPD’s careful preparations would be for nothing. Thankfully, that turned out not to be the case.
Five days into the sting operation the raiders struck again, only this time things didn’t go their way. Dee and Ryo were coordinating everything from a nondescript panel truck, parked in an alley. Knowing the security cameras in whichever store was hit would be put out of action immediately they’d had small wireless cameras installed in the five shops.
They were watching the video feeds from the store security cameras on screens in the back of their truck, so when the feed from one store abruptly went out they switched to their own cameras. Dee shouted to Marty in the driver’s seat, telling him which of the stores to head for, even as he and Ryo saw the armed gang burst into the shop, shooting the security guard in the chest. He went down hard, rolling so that the raiders wouldn’t immediately notice the lack of blood, and lay still as he’d been instructed to. That was as far as the thieves got because suddenly they were surrounded.
Drake and JJ came from the back room, guns aimed, while an undercover cop, disguised as a homeless person, blocked the doorway. One of the raiders made to open fire, but JJ shot him in the shoulder and he dropped his gun; sensibly, the other two dropped their weapons and surrendered.
It was all over, the three thieves handcuffed and unmasked, by the time the panel truck pulled up outside. Dee was disappointed to have missed the action, but as Ryo reminded him, all that really mattered was that the bad guys had been caught in the act and no one else had been killed. Although he’d be sporting a sizeable bruise for a while, the security guard was otherwise unharmed, and the salesman, who’d ducked behind the display cabinet the moment the raiders entered, was a bit shaken but relieved, clasping JJ’s hand in both of his own, thanking him over and over.
“You saved my life!”
It wasn’t strictly true; the thieves had never killed any of the sales staff, usually just forcing them to take them to the safe then tying the up and gagging them so they couldn’t raise the alarm, but JJ accepted the man’s thanks with a smile and, “Just doing my job, Sir.”
Another crime spree had been brought to a halt. The stolen gems were recovered, the criminals were denied bail at their arraignment seeing as they were considered definite flight risks, not to mention they were murderers… It was the best possible outcome.
As always, for the police officers involved, the hardest thing to deal with was that they’d been unable to prevent the deaths of the three security guards. There was no point dwelling on that, however; they just had to accept that sometimes casualties were unavoidable, and move on.
Tomorrow there’d be more crimes to investigate and more criminals to apprehend; their job was never done.