Chapter 28: The Robber
Mike sat on the steps in front of the SilverCity and watched the traffic speed by. It was midnight. Usually he would have been asleep by 11:00 P.M. but because he had no curfew outside, he could go to bed whenever it pleased him. Right now he was thinking. He was cold and hungry and wasn’t exactly about to raid Gourmet Eggs again. He knew that it probably was dangerous to be sitting so close to the area, but figured that if someone did recognize him he would just run away again. He didn’t really have any other options. He needed food but he also needed other things such as clean clothes and a shelter. He was thinking about going into Tim Hortons and purchasing a cup of tea with the rest of his change. He knew he could use the empty cup to collect money from strangers. But would people actually give him money? He might be found out and sent to the police where he would then probably end up back home; he didn’t want that. Besides, he wouldn’t make enough money to afford clothes or food for a good month at least. He had to think of another way. He looked down the street. He had an idea.
He headed westward until he stood outside it. The store had closed for the night and all the lights were off except for a few small ones. The male and female mannequins were dressed in the standard city look of grey and black with some blue vests and orange scarves. Mike looked up at the top of the front of the building. There, placed in big flashing gold block letters above the door, were the words
Mike had only entered the store once out of curiosity. But, once he saw the price tags flashing expensive digits, he decided to leave. He had always found the store to have an excellent fashion sense and if he could afford anything he liked, he would have bought it. But now, Mike thought, I don’t have to worry about money. I’ll just step right inside and take what I want. The only problem was how he would perform this risk. He tried the large glass doors. They were obviously locked. He had no device that could break a window or any paperclip that could pick the lock. He also assumed that the store would be covered with security cameras so the minute he broke in would sound off the alarm. Mike, though, wasn’t really worried about the alarm. He knew he could quickly rush in and grab whatever he wanted. He looked around. There seemed to be no other stores open. His only witness would be the traffic and there were hardly any cars on the road. He decided he wouldn’t show his face to anyone. He would bring his hood far over his face, hoping to not get detected. The only problem right now was how to get in.
Across the street, he saw a black van parked right outside the Starbucks Coffee shop. A man dressed in black stepped out and walked down the sidewalk heading towards Mike. He was wearing a black toque over his face, except he had holes cut out where his eyes and mouth were. Mike smiled. This man could help him.
“Excuse me,” the man said, “but could you tell me where the nearest bank is?”
Excellent, thought Mike, knowing that his assumption was correct.
“I’ll tell you once you help me.” The man looked at him oddly.
“What do you need?”
“I need you to break open that door.” Mike pointed to the glass door.
“Listen kid, I think you’re a bit young to be stealing.”
“And what about you, aren’t you a bit inexperienced to be robbing a bank?”
The man glared at Mike; he wasn’t amused by his snarky attitude.
“Listen kid, I don’t know who you think you are but don’t piss me off.”
“How do you think you’re gonna get in there, just shoot at the glass? You have no strategy do you?”
“Just tell me where the fucking bank is,” he said through clenched teeth. He was losing patience.
“Open this door and I will.”
“You know what it’ll do right?”
“Uh…break the glass?”
“No,” he sighed from Mike’s I-know-all attitude, “I mean what will happen once the glass breaks. Pretty sure they have an alarm.”
“I don’t care, I’ll be fast.”
“Listen, I don’t need this. You don’t know me, just break the glass.”
“And I don’t know you, so why don’t you tell me where the bank is and I’ll break your stupid glass.”
“Fine.” Mike waited, so did the man.
“I’m still waiting.”
“A block that way.” Mike pointed east. “It’s on the other side, big yellow building, can’t miss it.”
“Thanks,” the man said sarcastically. “Now stand back.”
Mike moved out of firing range as the man fired five bullets into the glass door. The alarm went off instantly.
Mike kicked the remaining glass so it shattered and ducked through the jagged entranceway. He proceeded towards the Men section of the store, ignoring the camera that had already captured him. The alarm was still ringing in his ear as he searched for his size of pants on the rack. He soon noticed that the pants were attached with security tags, but he decided to just grab them. He was already wasting too much time. He took a few dress shirts off the hangers, a blue and black vest, and stuffed it all under his coat as he jumped through the jagged broken door, careful not to slip on the glass that lay below. As soon as Mike was back in the chilly air, he heard sirens. He could see blue and red flashing lights heading down Yonge Street. They were only a block away. Mike could see from the corner of his eye that the robber hadn’t even reached the Loon’s Lore Bank yet. He saw one police cruiser turn towards the blue building. Mike ran down Burch Avenue, passing Starbucks, and headed to the parking lot behind the buildings. He knew he couldn’t continue down the street because he was already entering neighbourhoods that would easily tell the police where he was, maybe even hold him there. He moved through the parking lot as the sirens grew louder. He could see flashing blue and red lights behind the building he was about to pass. There were no cars parked so it was easy to move through. Suddenly, the sirens got much louder. They sounded really close now. Mike turned around and was bathed in the white light from the cruiser’s headlights that were now staring at him.