BELGRADE (Reuters) - A video of two young women looting with gay abandon during rioting in the Serbian capital Belgrade was becoming a Balkan smash hit on the video-sharing Web site YouTube on Friday.
Police arrested some looters but public humiliation by YouTube may prove a far more painful punishment for the pair, whose spree on Thursday night was also aired on local television stations and was being discussed across the Internet.
A persistent amateur cameraman followed the women as they loaded up with chocolates at a corner shop, came out giggling, then went after designer bags, shoes and clothes at Belgrade’s swankiest stores in its vandalized main shopping street.
“Get lost, stop filming,” one of them shouted, so laden down with booty that clothes and bags dripped to the ground amid the broken glass below emptied storefronts.
“But you are the heroines of this protest for me,” the cameraman replied sarcastically above the din of burglar alarms.
Looters seized their chance as rioters attacked Western embassies during a mass rally to protest at U.S. and European support for Kosovo’s independence.
The second woman covered her face with a pair of looted shoes when she saw she was being filmed.
“Have you found your size yet?” asked the cameraman.
YouTube viewers were not amused.
“Shame on you,” was the general message of hundreds of comments about the women’s behavior, though most used unrepeatable vocabulary.
The video was entitled “Swapping Kosovo for a pair of sneakers” and the person who posted it, “Gvantanamo,” gave a description:
“Belgrade bimbos exploit unrest to steal from smashed-up boutiques without the slightest shame. They are so greedy they even have to carry things in their teeth.”
The next day text-message jokes about the video and the looting swept around Serbia.
“Swap you 11 left Nikes for 11 left Reeboks,” read one.
To see the video use this address:
Writing by Richard Meares; Editing by Jon Boyle