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Is nothing sacred in Sao Paulo?
June 24th, 2008 7AM

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[OFF THE POST] Gun-point robberies are no rarity in Sao Paulo, whose crime situation is deemed "critical" by the Overseas Security Advisory and a majority of residents say they don't feel safe when walking the streets. Even O Rei Pele - three-time world champion and an officially declared national treasure of Brazil - has fallen victim. In an incident made public on Sunday, Pele waited at a congested traffic light in the passenger seat of his car as 10 masked youths, armed with guns and pocket-knives, demanded he turn over his possessions.

As they approached the vehicle, Pele rolled down his window to reveal his identity. Instead of honoring the Brazilian hero, who emerged from the incident without injury, they snatched his watch, gold chain, and cell phone.

The incident occurred on June 13 and was not reported to the police, but was revealed on the magazine Veja's website. The Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported some items from the car's passengers were returned after the thieves learned their target's identity.



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