- Two armed robbers stormed a McDonald’s branch in Besancon, France
- They had no idea there were 11 French special forces among the diners
- The soldiers calmly waited for the opportunity to subdue the criminals and pounced when the chance came
- Both crooks were eventually arrested and held in detention
Two armed men tried to rob a McDonald’s outlet inside a shopping center in Besancon, eastern France on Sunday night, but luck was not on their side when they discovered that 11 of the customers having their dinner turned out to be operatives of the French special forces.
The two would-be-robbers, armed with shot guns, reportedly stormed the fast food chain outlet and went straight to the cashier demanding the day’s earnings. One of them even fired a warning shot to scare the dining customers.
Little did they know, however, that 11 of the around 40 diners are operatives of the French elite unit, which is considered to be “among the most effective anti-terror forces in Europe, if not the world”, according to the Telegraph–UK.
The unit belongs to the Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale; also known as the GIGN.
The soldiers, who specialize in hostage-taking situations, calmly waited for the opportunity to attack the robbers without putting the lives of others in danger.
The chance eventually came when one of the crooks, holding about $2,200 loot in hand, tripped by the doorsteps while making his way towards the exit.
The soldiers quickly pounced on the first robber. As the second man tried to escape, the officers ordered him to drop his weapon but refused. He was shot in the abdomen by one of the officers.
The robbers, both in their 20s, were easily subdued and arrested.
“During the hold-up, the gendarmes didn’t do anything. It was out of the question to use their weapons, as this would have created difficulties and could have placed many people’s lives in danger,” local prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot said in a statement.
The wounded robber was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, while the other is now being held for questioning. Both are scheduled to appear before a judge on charges of armed robbery and violence.