2. THE RECCE MAN
RAY MEARS BEFORE
they go out on a heist, experienced criminals make sure they know every detail about the premises they are going to rob. Where are the surveillance cameras? How long does it take to get from the door to the cashier’s desk? How many guards are there? What time do they close for lunch? To find out the answers to these vital questions, the gang sends in the Recce Man. He’s literally the eyes and ears of the operation, and for this vital job Terry picks big-boned bushcrafter RAY MEARS.
“Ray has spent his career sneaking up unseen on animals, so he’s obviously very good at blending in to his surroundings. In his trademark khaki smock and old cargo trousers, the cashiers would barely give him a second glance as he loitered in the bank lobby, taking in every last detail of the bank’s security set-up. Honed over decades of crouching in bushes while watching deers and badgers in their natural habitat, ultra-observant Mears has a keen eye for minutiae, and could provide the team with a meticulous blueprint of the lie of the land, so they know exactly what to expect when they get the toys out and walk into the gaff.
And whilst he wouldn’t be taking part in the blag itself, Mears would be invaluable if the worst came to the worst and everything went pearshaped. If the gang find themselves lying low in a remote hideout, Ray could use his famous survival skills to keep them warm and fed until things cooled off. Subsisting on a diet of twigs, moss, toadstools and grubs under a camouflaged bracken shelter in the woods might not be every hardened criminal’s cup of tea, but take it from me, it’s better than being in chokey.