It sounds like the set up for a joke and I suppose it is. Except it actually happened and it ended pretty much how you expect it would.
The two hapless would-be robbers charged into a McDonald’s in Besancon, France and emptied the register with about 40 people watching the events unfold. It was a simple robbery and everything was going just so darn well.
However, unbeknownst to the robbers, among the terrified customers were 11 off-duty members of the French paramilitary special forces, Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, or GIGN – the Gallic equivalent of the SAS – who were not amused at having their meal of Big Macs and French fries disturbed by the low-level criminals.
Along with the French counter-terror police unit, le RAID, the GIGN are highly admired by peers in Britain and beyond. One former SAS officer, Col Tim Collins, recently described them as “among the most effective anti-terror forces in Europe, if not the world” in an assessment in the Telegraph.
If I understand it correctly, GIGN is a like a SWAT team had a baby with SEAL team 6, gave it a French accent and then put it on steroids (metaphorically). In other words, the absolute last group you want to try and rob.
Even then, the robbers might have left without realizing they had walked into the lion’s den. The officers, while armed, were not about to turn a restaurant filled with civilians into a shooting gallery (thank God this didn’t happen in Texas…).
But then one of the robbers tripped on the way out and found himself disarmed in seconds. The other thief panicked and pointed his weapon at the officers and got a bullet in the gut for his trouble. Fortunately, that was the only shot fired and no one else was injured. Heck, even the guy that got shot is expected to make a full recovery just in time to be sent to jail.
At least they’ll have an interesting story to tell their cellmates.
No word on whether or not the officers then sat down and finished their dinner but I suspect they did.
Photo via wikimedia