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Big Concerts left 'rattled' by Bieber heist

2013-05-15 13:34
Justin Bieber FNB stadium robbery
Johannesburg - Event organisers Big Concerts says that the carefully orchestrated theft of millions of rands from the FNB Stadium soon after the Justin Bieber concert on Sunday has left them fearing for their safety, reports the Cape Argus.

Big Concerts' chief executive, Justin van Wyk, told the Cape Argus: "This has rattled us to the core. I’m even concerned about our personal security. It's freaked us out."

On Sunday, just hours after Justin Bieber performed to 75 000 fans at the stadium, a gang meticulously broke into strongroom within the venue, climbing through the ceiling in the women's toilets and chiselling away at an adjoining wall, and made off with an estimated R3m in cash.

Inside job

Van Wyk said the heist had left them asking serious questions about security for major events such as the Bieber and Bon Jovi concerts, which were held on consecutive nights at the stadium.

"You bring out these huge stars, and the next day someone's cleaned you out – literally," he said. "The security industry is overrun by people who cannot necessarily be trusted."

The theft was discovered only the following morning. Police and security said they believe the heist to be an inside job and that the robbers had been working at chiselling through the wall over "a couple of days".

"I can't see this as an external operation," said Stadium Management CEO Jacques Grobbelaar. "Even I'm not entirely sure of where the strongroom in which the money was stored is. It was chosen because it is out of eyeshot," he added.

He said on the day of the heist there were 4 000 staff at the stadium. Of these 993 were security personnel.

Grobelaar added that high profile burglaries of this nature is putting the South African security industry into disrepute.

"We will be moving from private security to paramilitary security. If that’s what it takes, they’re the people we'll be hiring," he said.

Stadium security are considering offering a reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the thieves.

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