Stealth and common sense are two of the most basic qualities that a good thief is expected to have. However, a theif in Egypt has proven that even in this 'field', there are those who fail to meet minimum requirements. In a clip that has been widely shared on social media, a man was captured snatching a phone from a journalist and live-streaming his identity to thousands of viewers.
According to local reports, the incident occurred in Shubra Al-Khaimah, the fourth largest city in Egypt. An unidentified man, who is now in police custody, snatched the phone from Mahmoud Ragheb, a reporter for the news site Youm7. Ragheb was live on the site's Facebook page when the man riding a motorbike grabbed the phone and sped away without noticing that he was broadcasting his identity to over 20,000 people who were online.
'Courting Fame' Unintentionally
Youm7 reported that the incident occurred on a bridge in Shubra Al-Khaimah when Ragheb was reporting about the earthquake that recently hit several Eastern Mediterranean countries including Egypt. Ragheb was on the field doing a piece about the tremors felt in the city.
In the clip shared by Youm7, the camera can be seen panning and moving forward, and capturing the oncoming traffic as Ragheb(behind the camera) walks with the phone in his hand. Suddenly, a man on a bike grabs the phone from behind and speeds away. As he places the phone on the tank of the bike, and the camera stops shaking, he unwittingly reveals his face to the world.
Clad in a black T-shirt, a jacket, jeans, the man can be seen smoking and looking down at the camera; without being aware that over 20,000 viewers were glued to their screens in shock and amusement, and to know how the bizarre episode would end. While the rider appeared to be relaxed mostly, he does occasionally look behind to check if he is being pursued.
Nabbed Within Hours
The Daily Sabah reported that Ragheb tried to chase after the man initially. Next, he checked whether the live feed was still on in order to identify the thief. He stated that he recognized the man as someone who had driven past him a few minutes before the incident occurred. However, it is certain that the 'success' that the phone thief basked in did not last long as he was apprehended by the police a few hours later.
In a statement, the Ministry of the Interior announced that the man was arrested and taken to the Qalyub police station. The bike used in the crime was also seized from him. He confessed to not only stealing the phone but also selling it. The ministry added the unnamed man was "jobless" and lived in the Qalyubia area.
According to reports, Egyptian prosecutors have begun initiating a trial against the man. The country's public prosecutor informed on Wednesday that the thief will be referred to a criminal court for further proceedings. Ironically, the man was driving in the opposite direction of traffic, and may likely see that added to his rap sheet.
Amusing Netizens With His 'Stunt'
Given the hilarity of the event, the video has garnered over 193,000 likes and has received over 47,000 comments. Facebook users were unable to contain their amusement and their comments reflected that. "It is forbidden for you to expose the boy like this, his family will know that he is smoking cigarettes," wrote a user.
"I can't do it guys, this is a thief in himself and has skills, he can shop, smoke cigarettes and hijack mobile phones," read another comment. Suggesting that the bike may also be stolen property, a user commented, "Thank God, the motorcycle will be returned to its owners."
Making fun of the thief being 'cautious', a user wrote, "Why don't you look behind you, don't be afraid, he won't see you, but there are more than twenty million people who saw you." Another comment read, "His credit from the hood is finished."