Sports enthusiasts aren’t the only ones converging to Brazil’s most famous city this summer. The Rio Olympics 2016 have seen a startling influx of thieves from other parts of the country to the streets of the city, to cash in, literally, on the bustling tourist traffic.
And they’re using a combination of old tricks and audacity to steal anything from wallets to entire back packs, to cameras, to cellphones, and even to food packets from the hands of their victims, in broad daylight, right under the nose of the police.
One video that went viral on social media showed some perpetrators stalking their victims on foot or on bicycles, picking pockets or even forcefully grabbing the stuff off the hapless tourist and making a clean getaway. Others were even bold enough to jump quite high and grab handsets or food packets from tourists seated in buses.
The thieves have been doing their thing solo, or as gangs, in which one of the woman members distracts the victim while an accomplice commits the actual act of stealing.
While beach-side cafes along Ipanema are particularly vulnerable to pick-pocketing, in some cases, thieves acting solo or in small groups have even been reported to have committed the crime at knife point in other parts of the city. There have even been reports of two victims succumbing to gunshot wounds on the night of… Read full story