A video emerged on YouTube recently that’s causing quite a buzz. It appears to show nearly thirty robberies or attempted robberies in Rio de Janeiro—in broad daylight! The unverified video, came along with the following description:
Robbed, stolen, pickpocketing, brazil… As much as I love my country it’s sad that these idiots are spoiling it for the tourists. I hope the majority of people do not become victims and act more careful.
It’s actually not a new video—it’s been making the rounds for several months— but it’s shocking and informative nevertheless. It shows mostly young males (in some cases very young boys) grabbing wallets and bags from people passing through a busy intersection in Rio.
In one instance, a two thugs appear to grab the necklace right off a man’s neck, attacking him several times before they successfully get what they’re after. In some cases, fearful looking individuals just hand over their things to the robbers to avoid confrontations. A couple of the brazen would-be thieves even try to jump up to grab items being held by unsuspecting passengers on a city bus. In one segment, a young boy, probably no older than 10 years old, follows a group of pedestrians very closely and then grabs the man’s wallet and runs.
There’s no sign of law enforcement in any of these videos (although at one point a man is spotted walking around with a firearm) and it seems like most people just continue on their way, hardly noticing the crime in their midst. In other words, these street robberies are business as usual in Rio. A few of the victims do fight back. A couple of them slugged the robbers or refused to give up their wallets and backpacks. It didn’t look as if any of them were armed, but it’s hard to tell from the video.
Again, this video is unverified and there’s really no way to tell when it was shot (although the buses are clearly marked “Rio”), but there’s no denying there’s a crime problem in Rio. The New York Times reported this week that there were 10,000 robberies in the city in the month of May alone. And four U.S. swimmers were reportedly robbed at gunpoint, so even our Olympians aren’t safe there.
See the video for yourself on the next page: