He had a key, of course, but this had to look like a real robbery, so he used a small hammer to break the glass. He swept the gold and silver jewelry into the pillowcase he carried, then moved to the next cabinet.
The balloons Esther had brought that morning caught his eye on the counter above the jewelry cases. In a sudden fury, he hit the bouquet with his fist, knocking the balloons across the room. The little sandbag weight hit the wall and burst, spewing sand on to the clean carpet. The balloons floated to the ceiling, mocking him with their cheeriness. Old biddy! It was all her fault! She was almost 75--if she'd go ahead and give him his inheritance instead of doling it out a little at a time, he wouldn't be in this position! After he collected the insurance on this 'robbery', then sold the stolen goods, he would have to consider hurrying his inheritance up, too.
Spurred by his anger, he quickly threw the rest of the jewelry into his sack. He moved to the firearm cabinet, broke the glass with relish, and took the smaller guns he knew he could sell quickly. Maybe he'd save one, though, to take care of dear Aunt Esther. Satisfied, he hefted the full pillowcase and grinned. A nice night's work. Much better than standing behind a store counter for the rest of his life, handing out pittances to losers for their sorry possessions, knowing they'd never come back to retrieve them.
Now, for the next part of his plan. He went to the back door and keyed in the code to arm the alarm, then let himself out and locked the door.
Leaving the pillowcase beside the door, he looked around for a brick or rock. He would throw the brick through the front window, reach in to unlock the door, then take off down the alley to his apartment. The police would be slow in arriving--they might not take twenty minutes like this morning, but they'd be much slower than normal. When they did arrive and saw the place ransacked, they'd think the thief had gotten away in the time they took getting there. The cops'd blame themselves for being so slow! Willis chuckled. After all this was over, he might consider suing the city because of their slow response.
At the end of the alley, a car passed by on the main road. Willis drew himself against the brick wall of the building and waited. Better to be safe than sorry-- he had plenty of time.
He let ten full minutes pass and when no other cars went by, he took a deep breath of frigid air. Let the fun begin! He trotted across the alley to pick up a broken piece of brick that he'd spotted earlier. Perfect!
With a quick glance up and down the alley, Willis ran around the building to the storefront. No cars were on the street near the store. Cocking his arm back, he threw the brick through a window, then reached in to unlock the door. He pushed it open, then ran back around the building to the alley, imagining the alarm going off in the police station. He could picture the cop on duty at the desk heaving a sigh when he saw that it came from Pickney Pawn.
Willis picked up the sack of loot then turned to run down the alley. As he neared the main road, a police car, lights flashing, blocked his way. How had they gotten here so fast? Frantically, he ran the other way, only to see another set of flashing lights. Willis briefly considered running back into the shop and pretending to be an innocent victim, but as the police came toward him, guns drawn, he knew he was caught.