TV crew robbed

2010-06-13 16:37

Rustenburg - Burglars stole camera equipment worth $70 000 from a New Zealand television crew covering the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, police and the network said on Sunday.

The theft took place at a hotel in northwestern Rustenburg, where the All Whites are due to play Slovakia on Tuesday, when a door was forced open with a jemmy (short crowbar) while the crew was out having dinner, TVNZ said on its website.

The stolen equipment includes a camera, sound and lighting equipment, satellite equipment and laptop worth about $70 000.

"It's a very timely and sobering reminder of how vigilant all Kiwis travelling to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup need to be," said Paul Patrick, the editor of the network's ONE News.

A police spokesperson confirmed that it had received a complaint from a male journalist from New Zealand.

"He laid a charge of housebreaking and theft," Colonel Junior Metsi told AFP.

The police could not confirm the value of the equipment.

"We only know that it's the equipment that they are using to do the work," Metsi said.

The New Zealanders are the latest victims of crime against international journalists covering the World Cup. A Chinese news crew was held at gunpoint last week while armed robbers also broke into the hotel room housing journalists covering the Portuguese team.