Man arrested after first-ever bank robbery hit the closest town to the North Pole

Shutterstock.comThe small town of Longyearbyen among snow-capped mountains of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
  • Police arrested a man after a bank was robbed in the world’s most northerly town near the North Pole.
  • The bank in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, was robbed on Friday, but police didn’t say how much was taken.
  • Police caught up with the man, identified only as a foreigner, and who looks to have ignored the spirit of Christmas, shortly after the robbery.
  • Svalbard is a set of islands administrated by Norway – famous for harboring more polar bears than people.
  • It’s 600 miles from the North Pole and has 2,600 residents, 2,000 of whom live in the main town of Longyearbyen.

A man was arrested on Friday after a bank robbery hit the world’s most northerly settlement near the North Pole, and it’s said to be the first in living memory.

The isolated and barren islands of Svalbard lie in the Arctic Ocean between Norway and the North Pole, and are inhabited by just 2,600 people.

Police on the island of Svalbard said they arrested man in the main town of Longyearbyen, a foreigner visiting the island, suspected of holding up the town’s bank.

“There was an armed robbery at around 10:40 a.m. (5:40 a.m. ET),” on Friday, Terje Carlsen, a spokesman for the local governor, told Agence France-Presse (AFP.)

Carlsen added: “A man with a gun seized a sum of money. He was arrested quite quickly.”

Police said the suspect was then taken across the ocean to the northerly Norwegian town of Tromso.


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Carlsen didn’t give out the man’s identity, the amount of cash allegedly stolen, or the weapon he is may have used in the robbery.

Norwegian news site The Local said: “The heist was the first ever bank robbery in living memory in the territory.”

SvalbardGoogle MapsSvalbard, outlined in red.

The island – considered the world’s most northerly settlement – is famous for having more polar bears than people, with 2,650 polar bears to 2,600 people.

The Svalbard archipelago lies about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from the North Pole, where temperatures can drop below -40 Celsius.

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