The man they were chasing whipped through a door, silk opera cloak just missing being trapped as it closed.
Ned grabbed the heavy fire-door before it quite shut and wrenched it back open. "Can't be far now," he gasped, as he pelted through. "Not like he's going to blend in."
Jack followed right on Ned's heels with a breathless nod. They turned another corner, and skidded to a halt on the edge of a huge convention crowd, a large proportion of whom appeared to be dressed as some kind of vampire. Cloaks, hats, canes, rags, fangs.
The perfect place for the man to blend into, as if he'd been aiming for here all along.
Jack swore, long and extensively.
Ned quite agreed.
They kept moving, kept looking, following the swirl of the crowd as it parted ahead of their running prey and his stolen plans, then closed in behind him (and in front of them).
Ned yelled, "Stop that thief!" and heads turned, but no one made as if they were going to help.
The swirl widened momentarily, as their prey darted around yet another costumed person with slicked back hair, cloak, and cane.
The cane flashed out sideways, hooking around the man's leg.
He went sprawling with a hiss and a snarl. The person planted the tip of their cane between his shoulders and leaned on it, apparently unshaken by the thrashing limbs beneath it.
Ned used the time to make up the distance, hurling himself into the fray. "Thank you," he managed, once he and Jack had the man secured.
The 'vampire' grinned, flashing a very realistic looking fang, and withdrew their cane. "My pleasure. It's those like him that give vampires a bad name. I really can't be having that." They bowed with wordless elegance and vanished back into the crowd without so much as a swirl of movement to mark their passage.
Ned put them out of his mind. "Right, you. You're coming with us," he snarled, and he and Jack began the long process of hauling the thief home.