You're a police officer. A few minutes back, your walkie-talkie crackled and you were told that the Criminals (an infamous group of criminals whose identities are unknown) have struck again and this time, their target was the local high-tech store (think something like an Apple Store or Currys).
You rush to the store and see an all-too-familiar scene. Hundreds of police cars have surround the store, with their officers holding their guns. A few army vehicles are present too, with their soldiers taking up positions alongside the police officers. Bomb disposal teams are also present.
In the middle, you see a scene similar to those which have appeared on television in the past few months. A group of unarmed, masked men wearing gloves stand lazily outside the store and chat among themselves. These are the Criminals. There are explosives on the windows of the store. There are explosives on the ground surrounding the store. There are explosives on the bodies of the Criminals.
Their demands are simple. They want --some amount high amount of money-- transferred to a Swiss bank account within the hour otherwise they'll detonate the explosives.
Despite all of the manpower which is present, the Criminals will walk out of here freely and won't be arrested. Why? Every option available will result in the store being decimated.
If you try arresting them, they'll manually set off the explosives. To prepare for the possibility that they're overpowered, they've placed motion sensors around the store so that if anyone approaches them, the explosives are automatically set off. They've attached monitors to their bodies which monitor their heartbeats, so if they're killed (by sniping or other methods), the explosives will be automatically detonated. If EMPs are used against them, their backup generator kick in and the explosives will explode.
If the money is transferred, they will simply walk out (note: the explosives won't be deactivated). The Criminals say that if they notice any attempts to follow them, the explosives will be detonated. They simply want to leave in a nondescript vehicle (with no reg plates) which they've parked outside. Once the Criminals have left, the police are free to do whatever they want (note: the bomb disposal teams first have to deactivate the bombs).
They can't be allowed to escape. Not this time.
But, how do you stop them? How do you stop them from taking anything of high-value as a hostage and demanding a ransom? Also, what limitations would they face when choosing targets?
Note: (I'll add to this bit if needed)
- The world is just like ours (i.e. no magic or sci-fi elements)
- I'm looking for ways for the authorities to solve situation in the present. Obviously, I could get the secret services of the world and Interpol on the case but that's not the point here. I'm not looking for answers which essentially say 'Identify the Criminals', because that's not possible in my world (long story).
- Think of this 'method' as a franchisee. A criminal mastermind realised years back that, in this situation, the police can't do anything, so the criminal can walk free afterwards. This 'method' is public and criminal gangs across the country can implement it by themselves. The Criminals are just one such gang. So I'm looking for flaws in the method itself, not involving the Criminals.
(I wasn't feeling particularly creative when I named them 'The Criminals', so just think of the name as a placeholder :) )
(Also, please edit the tags if necessary as I wasn't entirely sure as to which tags to use)