Amsterdam Apple Store becomes scene of violent armed robbery

Apple Store becomes scene of armed robbery with hostages
An Apple store is hardly a likely scene for violent crime, but this Tuesday, the unlikeliest of events befell one particular location in the city of Amsterdam.

It was around 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, when the local police station in the capital of Amsterdam began receiving a string of emergency calls. A series of gunshots were reported, taking place near an Apple store in the busy Leidseplein district (via Digital Trends).

When the police officers arrived at the location and surrounded the Apple store, they came across what seemed like the middle of an armed robbery scene. The perpetrator was a 27-year-old man who was a foreigner to the Netherlands, and it is still unclear what exactly he had been trying to do in the Apple Store.

At the sight of the police, however, the man appeared to panic and changed his strategy, taking hostage everyone who was still inside the store—customers and staff alike. During the chaos of the ordeal, over the next few hours, all but one of the prisoners managed to escape. 

The photo below shows the attacker with his arm around the neck of the last hostage, wearing what appears to be a bomb vest (which was later confirmed to be fake).

With the hostage situation preventing police from actually entering the Apple store, the attacker began making demands for a payout, contacting local media requesting a cryptocurrency payment and a safe escape in exchange for the release of the victims. The man also sent out selfie photos of his alleged bomb vest. 

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The whole incident lasted a total of about five hours, when the final hostage finally made a run for it, escaping the Apple store. The armed perpetrator set out to chase him on foot, but the police managed to intervene by slamming into him in a police car, allowing the victim to to get away without coming to harm. 

The suspect was arrested before being sent to a hospital for treatment of his injuries from the crash. The full details about what exactly instigated the whole incident are expected to be published later today or tomorrow, after today's press conference with the Amsterdam police who were at the scene.

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