The 2016 Olympics in full swing and hordes of tourists are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the ideal scenario for any city hosting the Games. Unfortunately, this is also the preferred setting of criminals.
A Japan Today article reveals, "Around the Olympics, thefts and muggings have become the talk of the town."
UK's The Sun also took note of the thieves targeting the folks in Rio. "Earphones, cash, handbags, backpacks, iPhones and jewelry—anything that’s not protected—is fair game," the report said.
Several news agencies and websites—among them The Lad Bible—have likewise featured a video showing Rio's thieves in action. Some of the thieves are just kids. Yet, they seem to be seasoned thieves with lightning-fast moves. Clearly, they are champions of the sport.
Although some people say that parts of the video clip were taken in the past, it does not change the fact that the thieves are still aroud and they use the same moves on their targets.
The very title of a Miami Herald feature says it all:
The said report also cited Antonio Edmilson Rodrigues, a history professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, who admitted that "the thieves, mostly from favelas (slums), capitalize on tourists’ naiveté or, less often, rely on physical violence and intimidation—like wielding a knife or gun—to steal their valuables."
Rodrigues, 69, said in his native Portuguese, "Like any city, Rio has its problems. That’s just our reality."
Other new sites have also reported similar incidents. [Click on the photos to read the actual articles.]
One thief, though, seems to have gotten more than he bargained for.
Another video that has gone viral shows a man who reportedly got his hand chopped off by a "machete-wielding shopkeeper." A Brazilian news website alleged that the man was a thief who had tried to steal from a shop in Porto Alegre. Obviously, he didn't succeed.
The suspected thief was rushed to the hospital, but there's no word on what happened to the shopkeeper.