You may have read reports about people being mugged in Rio de Janeiro in the wake of an influx of Olympic tourists in the city — but new footage shows just how bad the situation actually is.
A Facebook page named Voidtv.net posted a video showing how thieves in Brazil are terrorizing unsuspecting people walking on the street in broad daylight.
From snatching bags from pedestrians while riding bikes to grabbing phones from distracted bus passengers via windows, these crooks have adopted some of the most disturbing techniques to steal valuables.
With around 500,000 people expected to visit Rio this year, the huge seaside city has more or less become a hunting ground for street criminals.
Days before the opening ceremony of the Games, Chinese hurdler Shi Dongpeng and his cameraman were robbed only a short while after their arrival when a man who pretended to be very drunk vomited on the athlete. While his cameraman pursued the crook and Shi went to wash up, the two later returned to their room and discovered their camera equipment was missing.
More recently, News Corp photographer Brett Costello was robbed of thousands of dollars worth of camera gear while staying in Rio’s popular tourist town Ipanema. However, in this particular case, the ending was somewhat positive when Costello noticed a man wearing his jacket as he walked through security to cover an archery event and figured out it was the thief who stole his gadgets. The unidentified suspect was later arrested.
Despite similar multiple incidents, the International Olympic Committee doesn’t think Rio is an unsuitable venue for the games.
"On the streets these things do happen unfortunately and it's terrible," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told AFP. "It's important that the Olympics isn't just a little European or American club, it needs to be spread around the world. It needs to have this universal feel."
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Pilar Olivares