2. THE RECCE MAN

VIZ - - Starry, Starry Heist! -

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.

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