World Cup 2010: England players have items stolen by hotel staff
• About £500 stolen, along with shirts, underwear and a medal
• Five hotel workers sentenced to three-years in prison
guardian.co.uk, Monday 28 June 2010 15.49 BST
Cleaning staff at the luxury hotel where England stayed during the World Cup stole football shirts, a medal and even underwear from players.
Police spokeswoman Junior Metsi said cash was taken – about £500 – but the thieves seemed most interested in souvenirs, such as a United States shirt an England player received in the customary post-match trade. A medal awarded by Fifa and underwear also disappeared during a spree which police say began on 21 June.
The thefts were not reported to police until Saturday. Metsi said police solved the case within a day, searching the homes of staff at the hotel near Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg.
"Everything that was stolen was recovered and they [the thieves] are now behind bars," she said.
On Sunday, a special World Cup court convicted five hotel workers of the thefts. They were sentenced to three years in prison and fined 6,000 rand (£524). Metsi would not name the players from whom items were stolen.
England made it to the round of 16, but exited Sunday after a 4-1 loss to Germany. The team was due to fly back to England late Monday.
England's World Cup headquarters was a state-of-the-art sports complex and hotel built by the Bafokeng tribe of northern South Africa and completed shortly before the tournament began.
The Bafokeng also own the Rustenburg stadium where World Cup games were played.
» » » » [Excerpt: Guardian.UK]
Greek players victims of hotel robbery
10 June 2010
by Apostolos Papapostolou, Greek Reporter, Greece
Three Greece players at the World Cup have had money stolen from their hotel rooms, police say.
Lt. Colonel Leon Engelbrecht said Thursday the unidentified players reported $1,921 had been stolen from their rooms on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel (photo) in the resort of Umhlanga, just north of Durban.
Engelbrecht said the Greek squad has told police it doesn’t want a case opened over the theft.
Skai TV reported that striker Angelos Charisteas and Panathinakos winger Sotiris Ninis returned to their room to find that they each had about 500 euros missing.
The theft happened only hours before three foreign World Cup journalists were robbed, one at gunpoint, at a hotel in Magaliesburg, in the northwest of the country. The journalists lost money, camera equipment, laptop computers and mobile phones.
» » » » [Greek Reporter, Greece]
Colombia team robbed by SAfrica hotel workers
Posted 5/28/2010 8:20 AM
By Donna Bryson, Associated Press Writer, USA Today
JOHANNESBURG — Police say two hotel workers stole money from members of Colombia's football team, which is in South Africa for a friendly against the World Cup host.
Police spokesman Eugene Opperman said Friday the Colombian players' hotel rooms were cleaned while they were training on Tuesday, and when they returned they discovered cash was missing.
Media reports say that around $2,800 was taken from suitcases in the rooms but police would not confirm that.
Opperman said two employees appeared in court Thursday on theft charges. A third, who had also been arrested, was later released after being cleared of involvement.
"Everything has been sorted out and the issue was well managed," Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina told Associated Press Television. "The important thing is that everything has been sorted out."
Ospina said he did not know how much money had been stolen.
The incident occurred at the five-star Southern Sun hotel in the plush northern Johannesburg suburb of Hyde Park the same hotel where Slovenia will be based during the World Cup. Slovenia is scheduled to arrive on June 8.
"It was a case of petty theft and swift action was taken with two arrests made and two suspects having already appeared in court," local organizing committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo said.
"This is a clear indication of how seriously the South African police authorities view criminal acts of any kind and also shows they are well equipped and prepared to deal with security matters during the tournament."
Egypt's football team was robbed of nearly $2,500 at its Johannesburg hotel during last year's Confederations Cup.
» » » » [Excerpt: USA Today]
Uruguay football official's hotel safe robbed
Posted 6/12/2010 2:36 PM
KIMBERLEY, South Africa (AP) — An Uruguayan football association official has been robbed of money from a safe in his hotel room in Cape Town, and a pair of New Zealand television journalists had their equipment stolen from their hotel in Rustenburg.
The robbery involving the Uruguayan occurred Friday morning at the Vineyard hotel, several hours before Uruguay's match with France. Police and hotel management were notified, association president Sebastian Bauza said. The amount stolen was more than $4,000, according to the association.
"Of course, they (the hotel staff) didn't admit that money was missing nor did they find the person responsible (for the theft)," Bauza said, adding that the hotel management denied responsibility for the theft.
The hotel is about 10 minutes from the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and the Uruguayan team stayed there only one night.
The victim was the Uruguayan association's executive board president, Ernesto Rodriguez Altez, and he was part of a 15-member delegation traveling with the team, officials said.
Rodriguez shared the hotel room with another member of the delegation, but Bauza said that person didn't have any connection with the theft.
"We knew that we came to a World Cup where they would be security problems," Bauza said.
In another incident, TV New Zealand's correspondent and cameraman were robbed of all their equipment at the FIFA-approved Sparkling Waters hotel in Rustenburg, foreign editor Max Hayton said. Thieves smashed their hotel room door when the two were out to dinner, he said. The estimated loss was $100,000.
» » » » [USA Today (PDF)]
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