Huge thank you to T.T. for allowing me to take over the blog for a day!
It’s a common sentiment among writers that we wouldn’t be surprised to find ourselves on FBI, CIA, and NSA watch lists based on our browser history alone. When you’re looking up the exact specifications for a city-sized EMP pulse or the common ingredients you need to put together a pipe bomb, it makes you wonder if anyone working for those agencies understands the word ‘research.’ More than once I’ve considered posting an open letter on my blog explaining how I don’t actually want to level an entire football stadium in one go, I just need to know how to do it so my story is realistic. At no point have I ever wanted to try any of the crazy things I’ve googled.
That changed when I began researching professional thieves. Like any other skill there are roughly two categories of thieves, the amateurs and the pros. People who break into homes, pickpocket, and smash/grab storefronts are largely amateurs with either no plan, imagination, or self-preservation instinct.
But the other guys have a (limited) moral code and approach their work as a job. And they seem to enjoy the technical execution of a good heist as much as they profit from it.
I came across an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit by someone claiming to be a professional thief. An AMA is an open interview where a professional introduces themselves and everyone else asks questions as they think of them. Reddit stores these conversations for later reading and they’re a great resource for writers!
This particular AMA made a great impression on me. He gave very clear guidelines for breaking into a house: never go in while anyone is home, avoid houses with dogs, people always hide the good things in the same places (under the mattress is a favorite). House alarms, he said, can’t usually be hacked, but they can be blocked or tricked fairly easily.
Someone asked when was the last time he broke into a house. He couldn’t say exactly, maybe 10 years ago. Houses, he said, were high-profile, instead he prefered stealing from businesses that could afford the loss.
How old are you? Mid twenties. What do you steal from businesses? Money or intellectual property. Have you ever hurt anyone? No, I run away. Do you carry any weapons? A knife for cutting packaging and boxes, not for defense. Why not? Just in case I get caught, if I don’t attack you first, the law says you can’t hurt me. How much do you make in a year? Around 250k. Do you own like six boats? No, I rent a two-bedroom place and do taxes as a small business. What are you doing with all the money, then? I plan to retire in five years.
I want to retire in my early thirties, I’m clearly in the wrong business.
All about Stealing Serenity
Buy the book
Add it to Goodreads
Quiz and Giveaway
All about Tami