Caught!? $40,000 worth of camera gear Recovered in Rio Olympic Park.

  • Brett Costello spots man wearing his stolen vest & equipment entering Olympic park.
  • Police apprehend and arrest male who is escorted away.
  • Male says he “bought the jacket and gear on the street outside”
  • Theft shows how easy it is to trespass at Rio Olympic park

During the run up to the Rio Olympics one professional photographer’s story hit the headlines when $40,000 worth of camera equipment was stolen from him in just 10 seconds. Today we can confirm that victim Brett Costello has recovered his lost items and a male suspect has been apprehended.


Tresspasser is apprehended by Brazilian officials. image: Yahoo Sports

In an unusual twist it appears from the video footage we’ve seen acquired by Yahoo Sports and the Australian Daily Telegraph shows what we’re witnessing is either the world’s dumbest criminals or (and more likely) that the real prize the thieves took was the privileged access the photographer’s official jacket gained.

The jacket emblazoned with the number 1467 is what first attracted Costello to the trespasser who recognised it as his own. By quickly alerting volunteers and armed guards he was able to retrieve his stolen goods.

An Olympic park volunteer holds Costello’s ‘1467’ jacket. image: Yahoo Sports


Costello’s luck in seeing the his vest number on another man may have been the only safeguard in preventing the access gained by a trespasser. It is not yet been confirmed how the man was able to enter the park without the correct security credentials and what privileges he would have had at the venue.

It is an unwritten right that photographers tend to take the best seat in any house under the guise of attaining the best composition for the millions watching at home. If this practise is to continue, for the sake of photography we hope it is, then the security checks at the gates to any event must be taken seriously.

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.51.05
Trespasser is first questioned by security
Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.52.55
Costello shows officials CCTV footage of his gear being stolen
Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.54.24
Costello’s new press number. ‘1564’
Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.54.58
Escorted away.

It is not yet clear what the man has been charged with yet, of if the three criminals (2 male, 1 female) have also been apprehended. However Costello now has his gear back and we can look forward to seeing more of his fantastic imagery.

Do you have any photographer stories relating to issues with security at events? If so we’d like to hear about them. Please leave them in the comments below.


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