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  Blondes hit the bull’s eye for Rio thieves

Blondes hit the bull’s eye for Rio thieves

Published : Aug 9, 2016, 11:26 pm IST
Updated : Aug 9, 2016, 11:26 pm IST

In the chaotic world of Rio criminality, it is an old trick that is winning the gold medal.

In the chaotic world of Rio criminality, it is an old trick that is winning the gold medal.

A blonde woman distracts the victim while an accomplice grabs the bag of cameras, computers or valuables. A second partner in crime sends the victim the wrong way if he or she gives chase.

This textbook larceny is being played out each day on the beachside cafes along Ipanema. Pickpockets also ply Copacabana and there is also a more dangerous version. Sometimes the attacker just takes out a knife and puts it to the throat of his victim.

Around the Olympics, thefts and muggings have become the talk of the town.

A government minister, athletes and coaches and press photographers have all fallen victim. The danger lurks from the Rio media village to stadiums, and the cafes on the upscale seafront Ipanema district.

Even on the night of the opening ceremony, two people were fatally shot near the Maracana Stadium where it was held.

Australian photographer Brett Costello is one of a growing press band to have suffered.

The News Corp. journalist lost tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment in an Ipanema coffee shop and then saw the thief two days later wearing his Olympic jacket with accreditation number.

Security video of the theft showed he was caught in the blonde woman sting.

The Agence France-Presse news agency, which has 700 square metres (7,500 sq feet) for its 180 accredited Olympic staff in Rio, has suffered several thefts.

The troubles have also hit the athletes' village. Chinese 110m hurdler Shi Dongpeng lost his laptop computer to another well-planned thief. The man vomited on Shi and was chased by a Chinese journalist who was with Shi who went to the restroom. When he returned his belongings had disappeared.

The Danish delegation in the athletes village say it has lost telephones, tablet computers and even sheets. Rio is notorious for its crime.

Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro