A Way Out by Adrian Milnes

When I saw Jimmy Farris driving by in a BMW I knew it would be stolen

When I saw Jimmy Farris driving by in a BMW I knew it would be stolen. I was off duty and in my own car so I didn’t pull him over straightaway. I should have phoned it in, but instead I tailed him for a while. When he stopped at a set of traffic lights I pulled up alongside.


I sounded my horn. He gave a start, then quickly turned to see who it was. He recognised me straight off and his eyes went wide. I smiled at him and made a motion to pull over after the lights. He nodded then stared straight ahead, waiting for the lights to change.


The lights changed and he pulled away slowly. I waited for the cars behind him to go past then pulled over behind him. He would be sweating now, wondering how to handle it. Jimmy had so many convictions, any more trouble and he’d go down hard for it. I decided to let the tension build and pulled out my mobile. I called up Tommy.


“Hey Tommy it’s Banich. That situation you were talking about still possible?” I asked. “I might have somebody lined up for it.”


“You reckon?” he replied. “Who you got in mind for it? How you gonna work it?”


“Don’t worry about that,” I said. “Just set it up and tell me where to find it.”


“It’s been out back of the Marigold restaurant all day,” he said. “Just waiting for you. You know where the Marigold is?”


“I know it,” I said. “There’s nothing definite yet but I’m gonna try it. I’ll call you if it happens.” I ended the call and got out of the car. I walked slowly over to where Jimmy sat behind the wheel, probably scared to death by now.


Jimmy Farris was a good-natured guy really. A long record, but nothing for violence. I still put my hand on my gun as I walked up on his blindside though. He wasn’t normally any trouble, but he might have reached the point where he’d do something desperate. It was best to be careful.

“Keep your hands on the wheel Jimmy,” I said. “Keep them up where I can see them.” I edged forward. I glanced in. He was only wearing a T-shirt and shorts. I opened the door. “Get out of the car Jimmy,” I said.


Slowly he got out trying not to shake. It was now time to start messing with his mind.


“Nice car Jimmy,” I said, looking it over.


He looked at me suspiciously. I was just one more cop playing with him, but he had no choice but to play along. “Thanks,” he said finally. “I like it.”


“Where did you steal it,” I asked casually.


“I didn’t,” he said lamely. “A friend lent it to me.”


I didn’t even bother to acknowledge that. “You steal it just for a ride, or you gonna take it somewhere and strip it down later?”


“I..” he started.


“Don’t bother,” I said interrupting him. “All I need to do is call it in. They take you away and you don’t see sunlight for a while. It’s not looking good is it?”


Jimmy stared down at the road and looked as if he was about to cry.


I held the moment, then said “I like you Jimmy so I’m gonna give you a way out.” Suddenly his head was up and he was staring at me. “I think its time to change things,” I said, “get things working a different way. Get in my car,” I said. “We’re going somewhere.” I walked back to the car and watched him as he followed me.


“Not the back,” I said. “Sit up front.”


He looked at me strangely. He knew something was happening but he didn’t know what. “You ain’t gonna cuff me either?” he asked.


“Not if you play your cards right,” I said. “If this works out right we’ll leave your car here and let the traffic guys find it. Of course if things don’t work out..”

I started the car and drove off. After telling him all that I didn’t say a word, trying to keep him confused. Jimmy was dying to ask me what was going on, but he was trying to keep him cool now that he knew he wasn’t being arrested.

We pulled up by the Marigold restaurant, and then drove into the car park at the back.

“See that gold Merc,” I said.


“Yeah what about it?” he asked.


“I want you to steal it.”


He looked at me incredulously. “You what?”


“I want it stolen,” I said. “It belongs to a fence who works around here. He’s been getting away with it now for way too long. We’ve come to the conclusion we ain’t ever gonna get him, so we’ve decided to try it our own way. We’ve got somebody lined up to break into his house. And now your job is to steal his car.”


“What do want me to do with it when I’ve stolen it?” he asked.


“Strip it, trash it, burn it. I don’t care. Just make sure he doesn’t get it back.”


He continued to stare at me. “What if I get caught while I’m doing it?” he asked.


“You’re on your own and we never met. Of course we can always go back and arrest you for the Beamer. I’m giving you a chance Jimmy,” I said. “You gonna take it?”


“I’ll do it,” he said. He quickly got out of the car and walked over to the Merc without looking back. I left him there and drove away. I was about two blocks away when I heard the explosion. I called Tommy again.


“I heard it,” he said. “I’ll settle up with you later. Well done.”


“Reckon it’ll work?” I asked.


“It will ‘till nobody comes forward for the money,” he said. “Maybe then they’ll realise it wasn’t him in the car. But by then he’ll have had two days to start running. Speak to you later,” he said, and ended the call.

The End