Life, Europe

Armed with dustrag, woman in Netherlands fights off would-be robber

Robber targeted bakery as easy pickings, never suspecting Turkish woman behind the counter could put up such fierce resistance

Selman Aksunger   | 28.07.2022
Armed with dustrag, woman in Netherlands fights off would-be robber

AMSTERDAM

Armed with only her dusting cloth and iron will, a woman in the Netherlands faced down an armed robber who burst into a bakery, intent on clearing out the cash register. Instead, he was the one who was cleared out, and quickly.

In a security camera video that went viral Thursday, Latife Peker, 47, can be seen cleaning up around the bakery’s display case when a robber, lurking at the door, suddenly storms in, brandishing a meat cleaver, ready to rob the establishment.

At first Peker, shocked, backs off strategically, but when the black-clad robber tries his luck with the cash register, Peker, who was tending the bakery for her son, moves in for an all-out assault.

She beats the crook repeatedly with her trusty cleaning cloth, perhaps hoping to daze him with a faceful of dust and cleanser scent.

Moving into close quarters, she and the would-be thief then wrestle it out, with Peker seemingly holding her own against the taller and evidently younger criminal.

When a customer walks in during their struggle, unawares, the thief – facing a possible beatdown from two directions – gives up the ghost and quickly flees, trying to punch the male customer on his way out.

The whole life-or-death encounter lasts less than 20 seconds.

From there the thief reportedly beat a hasty retreat by bike, painfully aware that he had chosen the wrong bakery to rob, with his plans for easy money foiled by a fierce defender.

Speaking to local media, Peker, a mother of three with Turkish roots, said that she has not realized the thief was carrying a cleaver and never stopped to consider losing her life in the struggle with the thief.

An English proverb says “A man’s home is his castle,” but in one Dutch bakery, a crook found out in short order that a woman’s workplace can also be a well-defended fortress.​​​​​​​

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