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#pounditFriday, May 24, 2024

Olympics photographer robbed in Rio, loses $40K in equipment

Brett Costello

One photographer covering the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro learned a tough lesson this week that you can never let your guard down in the city — not even for 10 seconds.

Brett Costello, an Australian photographer for NewsCorp, was robbed of $40,000 in equipment this week after being scammed by a team in the middle of a busy coffee shop.

Costello was in Ipanema — a town in Rio — covering the 2016 Summer Games for The Daily Telegraph/NewsCorp, and was asked by a woman at the coffee shop to help her. He had just ordered a coffeee and thought he was helping her, but in the 10 seconds that he got distracted, an accomplice took Costello’s gear and made off with it in a vehicle.

“I’m gutted and I feel stupid that I wasn’t wise to their plan,” Costello told The Daily Telegraph.

“I know that I’ll probably never see my bag or gear again. And as disappointing as that is, I take solace that I wasn’t injured or hurt.

“It only took 10-seconds, but even that is enough to remind the thousands of tourists and media here in Rio for the games to never let down your guard.”

Costello told police about the robbery, and they were not too surprised. Those types of robberies — where thieves work in teams — are not uncommon.

Prior to being robbed, Costello was fortunate enough to capture these cool photos from Ipanema:

Between this robbery and some of the other disgusting conditions that have been reported, it hasn’t all been peaches and cream so far in Rio.


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