On Thursday, January 12, 2023, a robber tried to steal the contents of a Brussels wine merchant’s cash register. However, when the man realized it was only 110 euros, he decided to leave the money with the shopkeeper.
Crises sometimes have surprising consequences. In Brussels, Belgium, the energy caused an amazing robbery story. According to TV channel TF1, a robber decided to leave behind the money he had just stolen after noticing the low income of his victim, a wine merchant based in the Belgian capital.
On Thursday, January 12, a thief entered a wine store through the back door and pointed his gun at a store employee. “He took her by the shoulder, he buckled her, he put his gun on her stomach,” says Mikaël Thil, the wine merchant, to our colleagues. The thief then enters the office and points his gun at the boss, then demands that he give him the contents of his cash register. But when it runs, it only costs 110 euros. The robber asks where the rest of the money is. As surprising as it may seem, the trader’s response causes him to change his mind.
The reflection of the situation of small traders
“Then we explained to him that due to the current situation and crises, we unfortunately didn’t have more to give him. In fact, he took it back and told me ‘keep your money’. I almost have the impression I’m reading his eyes, ‘You need it a lot more than I do,'” the dealer explained again. Then the perpetrator left the crime scene without asking for silence.
This oddly touching, oddly passionate story has been making headlines in Belgium for the past few days. And with good reason, it sadly illustrates the economic impact of the energy price crisis on small traders, as well as a certain solidarity within Belgian society. To the point where Mikaël Thil concluded: “I’m almost disappointed that I couldn’t give this poor robber anything. The observation today is that the robbery is happening daily, with the additional costs that we have to bear, with the successive crises, the lack of help…”.
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