Amateur criminals are still criminals (Daily Flash Fiction entry)
"...chant 'Fire bad, tree pretty!' thirty seconds, then split." Jessie hit 'Send', closed his cellphone and returned it to his pocket. Excellent! he exulted. The flash mob would converge on the mall's food court at exactly four o'clock, create a brief commotion, then melt into the crowd. Security would get there in time to look for eyewitnesses; good luck with that, he thought. Bastion High School was just down the street, and the mall would be full of teenagers, each of them 'eager' to help.
While Security was occupied, he and Frankie would deck the charity drive guy, grab the bucket and race out the east exit. They'd be gone in Frankie's car, way before Security could chug their golf carts across the mall. The getaway would be even easier than this morning's, with the Interstate just a hundred yards away.
Jessie's watch beeped - showtime! He left the video store, turned left, and entered the mall's central area. Seeing Frankie on the far side, he walked up to him.
"Ready?" he asked.
"Sure," Frankie replied nervously.
"Relax," Jessie said, "it'll be a piece of cake. Are you sure you weren't followed?"
"Actually," said a voice, "he followed us here from the Office, didn't you, Frankie?"
Jessie whirled and saw two Security officers standing behind him.
"He decided the possibility of just six months in jail beat the certainty of a three year minimum for Aggravated Assault," the officer continued. "After that little stunt this morning, the police alerted all the area shopping centers," the officer explained to a stunned Jessie. "We were talking to Frankie when his phone lit up with your text message, because he fit a possible description from a surveillance photo from WestTowne. Hands behind your back, kid; you're under arrest!"