Burglars steal millions at stadium after Beiber show

2013-05-14 00:00

JUST hours after the sold-out Justin Bieber concert at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, thieves stole millions in takings in a crime described as well-planned.

The gang may have had inside help.

Jacques Grobbelaar, CEO of Stadium Management South Africa, which manages the FNB Stadium, said the break-in happened sometime between 2 am and 8 am yesterday.

He said the gang broke into a safe next to a concealed room in the facility’s basement.

“There is just one door to the room and it is never used, except at concerts. Very few people know about it. We suspect the break-in was internally orchestrated,” Grobbelaar told sister paper Beeld.

He said the gang gained access to the room and removed a ceiling tile to climb into the ceiling space. The tile was replaced.

“The safe is right next to this room. The robbers chiseled through the bricks above the safe.”

Then they used ropes to drop 3,5 metres into the safe.

Millions of rands were stolen, as well as backpacks with “unidentified contents”.

Grobbelaar said the last staff member left the stadium at 2 am and the first arrived at 8 am yesterday.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale, said a woman member of staff was the first to notice that the room had been broken into.

Mogale confirmed that the robbers’ haul was millions of rands in takings from the stadium’s bars, and from merchandise sold at the capacity concert.

Grobbelaar said the room was in a part of the stadium handed over to Big Concerts and its service providers in the run-up to Sunday’s concert. It could have been used as office or storage space.

No stadium personnel would have had access during this time, he said.

“We are very disturbed by the incident because it happened under our noses,” he said.

He said Big Concerts hired people from eight different security companies, and there were 3 700 outside workers on site.

“In future, we will negotiate with clients in a more secure way and place greater emphasis on accreditation and criminal background checks,” he said.

A single police vehicle was seen at the stadium by 6 pm yesterday.

Grobbelaar said it would be closed for two days.

“We are busy interviewing all staff who were at the stadium on Sunday night and yesterday morning.”

By yesterday evening, 40 interviews had been completed.

Stadium Management South Africa gave CCTV footage and building plans to the police to help in the investigation.

“There are no CCTV cameras in the room, but there are many inside and outside the stadium. We are going through all the footage.

“The police also have experts who look at people’s body language [on the footage],” he said.

Big Concerts spokesperson Dionne Domyan said they would not comment, bearing in mind the safety and security of their staff.

No one had been arrested yesterday.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.