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American tourist locked in London bookstore regains freedom after tweeting for help


David Willis

David Willis

An American tourist, David Willis has social media to thank for his release after being locked inside a bookshop for hours.

David had visited the Trafalgar Square branch of Waterstones bookstore in London, U.K. shortly before closing time at 9pm last night (Thursday, October 15, 2004) but when he came down 15 minutes later he found the shop in darkness and the doors locked.

He sent out an anxious Tweet to alert the store’s social media team, posting a picture of the closed shutters from within at around 10pm, he wrote: “This is me locked inside a waterstones bookstore in London. I was upstairs for 15 minutes and came down to all the lights out and door locked. Been here over an hour now. Supposedly someone is on their way.”

Other Twitter users retweeted the plea thousands of times, until one user alerted the Met Police. David regained his freedom with a Met Police spokesman confirming, “We were contacted to say that a man was trapped inside the branch of Waterstones in Trafalgar Square. He was released between 11.05pm and 11.20pm.”


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