Justin Bieber was the victim of a sophisticated Ocean’s Eleven style cash heist while performing in South Africa on Sunday evening.Hours after the singer finished performing at Johannesburg’s FNB football stadium, a gang of criminals broke into the venue’s secure cash storage room and took the concert’s takings.
The gang are believed to have spent at least three days digging their way through the stadium strong room’s double thick walls.
They struck when it was full of cash from merchandise and refreshment stalls that operated both during Sunday evening’s Justin Bieber concert and also a recent performance by Bon Jovi. Today 94,000 capacity stadium was on lockdown as police, forensic experts and security company officials searched for clues into the daring heist.
A source told South Africa’s Eyewitness News radio news service that, having gained access to the strong room, the gang used ropes to lower themselves through the hole and down a three metre drop. The news service reported that the strong room remained littered with bricks and debris from the hole in the ceiling and that ropes still hung from the ceiling.
The suspects managed to make off without being detected. The theft was only discovered on Monday morning. It is not known how much money was taken.
Police are reportedly working on the assumption that the heist was an inside job as the gang appear to have detailed knowledge of the stadium’s security arrangements. The iconic FNB Stadium – also known as Soccer City or The Calabash – is the largest sports stadium in Africa and was the centrepiece of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 football World Cup. Bieber is on the latest leg of his Believe world tour and his sold out concert on Sunday went well apart from the backstage incident.
His Mother’s Day tribute melted his fans’ hearts when he surprised his mother Pattie Mallette with an on-stage serenade to his tune One Less Lonely Girl.