Brazilian TV is showing footage of a woman being robbed while being interviewed on television about crime near Rio de Janeiro’s main train station. The images of the interview conducted Wednesday by TV Globo were posted on its G1 internet news portal and come just a few weeks before the beginning of the World Cup.
The woman is complaining in the clip about the lack of police presence near the station when the would-be mugger approaches her from behind and rips off what appears to be a gold necklace.
The clip shows the thief fleeing down a busy street, and the reporter is seen chasing him for a few seconds.
The thief, however, was left empty handed. He dropped the necklace, which was returned to the woman.
In the clip the attacker's face has been obscured because Brazilian laws protect minors from being identified,, even if the commit crimes.
Rio de Janeiro will be hosting several World Cup matches, including the final, and authorities have attempted to clamp down on crime before the tourists start pouring in.
A newspaper report on Thursday warns that criminals have been duplicating tourist debt cards at ATM at Rio main international airport. Fourteen machines were compromised there.
According to the police, cell-phone robberies in Rio have gone up 121% since last year. Robberies on buses have spiked 118%. In one popular area called Santa Theresa, street robberies have gone up 93%. Murders in Rio de Janeiro state have jumped 18%.
This is despite an aggressive policing program called 'pacification' in which specially trained police units are now base in troubled favelas or shantytowns.
Last month Rio's state government had to ask for help from the federal government to pacify the vast slum complex known as Mare, home of 130.000.
But despite tanks on the streets there have been shootouts between drug gangs and security forces in recent days.
It's really difficult in Rio, the population is at the mercy of the criminals and we need more people to help us here, another woman told Globo TV in an interview after the necklace attack.