Olympic photographer who had $40,000 worth of gear stolen in Rio found some of it in a strange place

Rio Olympics SecurityRob Carr/Getty ImagesMedia members pass through security at the Rio Olympics.

On Thursday, News Corp photographer Brett Costello had $40,000 worth of equipment stolen from a Rio cafe. On Friday, he found some of it in a bizarre place: on somebody next to him a security line for media entering an Olympic event.

Costello was in a security line entering Sambodromo stadium for the men’s team archery competition, when he noticed the man in line behind him was wearing a vest that was stolen along with the equipment the day before.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports witnessed the crazy scene:

“[Costello] noticed something odd about a man entering behind him at the security line. He was also wearing an official photo vest, but Costello thought the number on it looked familiar — it was the vest that was taken from him in a café on Thursday.

He confronted the man wearing his stolen vest with the help of Rio Olympic personnel and local police. When faced with the fact that the man had entered the venue’s media area without a credential — an enormous security breach, by the way — he removed the vest and gave it to a Rio 2016 venue manager.”

According to Wyshynski, the man tried to walk away but was quickly detained by police. Costello showed police security footage of the original theft that had been given to him and told them that the man matched one of the men in the video. Costello said a second man at the venue also matched one of the alleged thieves. The second man was also detained by police.

Wyshynski notes that both men were able to pass through security without proper credentials.

According to Costello, the equipment was originally stolen in about 10 seconds when a woman distracted him in a cafe and others grabbed the bag and jumped in a getaway car.

From The Daily Telegraph:

“I was ordering the coffee and was with my gear and then all of a sudden a woman asked me a question, so I turned briefly, probably for 10-seconds.

“I felt something was not quite right and my bag with all my gear was gone.

“She was speaking to me for about 10 seconds, not long at all. I was in shock.

“No one saw a thing, I couldn’t believe it, I was later told there was a getaway car outside. They work in numbers and they’re good at what they do unfortunately.”

Costello seemed resigned to the idea that he would never see his equipment again. But thanks to some terrible luck on the part of the alleged thieves, it seems like he is a step closer to a reunion.

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