The laptop lay open, each segment of it over eight A0 poster prints in the shop window. Sitting at the bus stop opposite it each evening, Dawn remembered the detail. The code around the browser window burned into her retina like a favourite boy or a school time social formula. As Dawn walked the houses of the street, through windows laptops became mouths, banking websites the oysters within. She would wait until the postman’s van was in the area, and this was how the police arrested Kevin Tracey.

Chief O’ Hara was the recipient of the usual notes of gibberish. He nor D.I. Jaunty were not interested in any of that palaver. The criminal was smart, the criminal was stupid. He was not taking the laptops, merely transferring funds from them. The break-ins were all about 2-4pm: Royal Mail round time, Tracey’s arrest.

We can tell he’s not a cyber-hacker, however he wants us to believe he’s not smart. If he was he’d be out with everyone else during this time at the local Assco supermarket. Those are the hours when staff do the food and drink mark down, the reduced-to-clear. The criminal is smart see. John Clunes always signed his name to these letters and after a while O’Hara and Jaunty stopped sending him cautions. For in every investigation, the aul street cleaner was right.

It was with reluctance that O’Hara investigated, and it was with an icy reception that Clunes treated the conversation. Interest was peaked when Clunes revealed they were all Hyperion Bank robberies. They were spreading three miles over, but all on the bus route from the 24. It was at the 24 pick-up point in the city were Hyperion advertised. Dawn lived at the meeting point of four quiet back streets were the first robbery was committed.
‘Underclass’, as according to the man in the yellow jacket.
“This one was a prior suspect in a visa card scam from the plush shop tills. The money trail went cold and she was never prosecuted.”
She left to study a joint Masters in graphic design and psychology and came home to the recession: Vietnam for academics. Clunes found her on Google. The strand of red hair from one of the keyboards was long, and caught in the free newspapers she delivered around the area. The pay was £10 a week. Enough for the benefit office to double her workload, enough to fund two round bus fares, no wonder it was a secret.

“She couldn’t repay her student loan, what chances are there of repaying anything the court has to damn her with?” asked John, out in the yard, as Kevin Tracey walked off into the distance. Like Jaunty, he was but a few years from retirement, though his features were harder, a weighty face of jagged rock, stubble like sandpaper, a skin bitten by the elements. His hands were in his pockets by his tools: a brush, a picker, a shovel around the sides of the bin on the barrow he pushed. His eyes looked at the two officers and he raised his white ipod phones to his lugs and wheeled on past them.