NATIONAL NEWS - Fourteen cases of theft have been reported to police as thieves pounced on unsuspecting Springbok fans at the OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday night.
A number of people had their bags, cellphones and other personal items stolen while at the airport to welcome home the Springboks, who touched down on South African soil after defeating England in Japan for the Rugby World Cup.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe told the Citizen that two suspects were arrested on Tuesday for theft.
“It is rather unfortunate that criminals exploited this event for their own gains but the SAPS will ensure that those responsible for any criminal activity in and around OR Tambo airport will face the full brunt of the law.
“While we were celebrating our world champions, there are those who came to capitalise on the event by robbing and pickpocketing fans.”
She said investigations began on Tuesday evening and police were working alongside airport security to study “evidence in and around the airport to try as quickly as possible to apprehend those who were behind the criminal activities”.
Confirming the number of cases reported to police, she said police were following up on leads.
TimesLIVE video journalist Deepa Kesa, who went to the airport to capture the arrival of the Springboks, was one of the victims.
After filming the arrival, Kesa went to a media room in an attempt to edit the footage.
“I then sat on the floor and decided to start editing the footage that I already have. As I sat down, a gentleman sat next to me and put what looked like a gun in between us and asked me what I can give him.”
Kesa pushed the camera bag towards the perpetrator. Around 10 minutes later, while still in shock, he found security with the bag. Security told Kesa that someone dropped the bag while fleeing. A cellphone, charger, two camera battery charges and a memory card were taken.