They entered the bank unassumingly, being neither too audacious or too shiftless to garner any notice. The place was packed with crowds that are common in Washington, D.C. immediately after 5:00 PM. They got into different teller lines and patiently shuffled forward with everyone else.
At exactly the same moment, they each pulled out a matte black vaping rig. It's not clear how exactly they coordinated the action. A later review of the security footage by the police revealed that none of them gave a signal to the others. They must have all had a synchronized alarm, an exact moment chosen ahead of time, that they somehow perceived silently.
They began puffing on their matte black vaping rigs, which had the appearance of military equipment. Pretty soon the vapes began to produce several thick clouds of vapor that began to fill the lobby of the bank. The guards attempted to react, but they weren't quite sure what they were reacting to. Was this some kind of attack on the vaults? A small fire? They drew their weapons, but within 30 seconds they had filled the place with so much vape smoke that it was impossible to see five feet.
That's when the fire alarm went off. Suddenly, the security guards had a purpose. They instructed everyone to make their way towards the exits, to follow the sound of their voices even if they couldn't see. The customers were irritable, reluctant to give up their hard-earned spots in line. But when you're surrounded by an opaque, blinding fog of unknown vapor, you become more amenable to commands from authority.
When the crowd reached the bank doors, they were met with a nasty surprise. The doors were locked from the outside. No key could open them. The bank customers suddenly realized they were trapped. The vapor was getting thicker. A woman screamed.
A voice came from the vapor assuring everyone that "everything was under control." It sounded, according to those who heard it, like the head security guard. He ordered them all to back up from the door. Then to everyone's surprise, what sounded like several gunshots blew through the glass of the front doors. The voice yelled for them to follow as the air from outside began to dissipate the vapor.
By the time the police arrived the incident was over. However, a larger mystery remained. When they questioned the security guards, they could not identify who took control of the crowd and ordered everyone to the front door, much less who fired the gunshots. Even more perplexing, authorities searched the bank but could not find any cash or valuables missing. They interviewed all the witnesses. No one could provide a description of the men who had caused the incident by vaping in the bank, and no one had a plausible theory to explain their motivations.
It was only days later that the police started piecing it together. Two federal bureaucrats had gone missing, and both their last known whereabouts was on the way to the bank in question. Although neither official was particularly high-ranking each one had important power over authenticating the results of government health studies. The two were days away from rubber-stamping a new report on vaping, the results of which eagerly anticipated by the vaping industry but unknown to the general public.
The perpetrators of the heist, if you can call it that, were never found.