Circus clowns and animal trainer robbed their own spectators after shows

The last victim of the robbers recognized her gold jewelry among those found in the pockets of criminals

Governmental officials rate the small town of Snezhnoye in Russia's south where miners live as a rather depressive one. Life has got really stagnant there, and people have little opportunity to enjoy themselves. This autumn a circus from Ukraine's Crimea came to the town to give performances on a tour, and these performances became quite an event for children of the place as well as for adults. Women came to performances in evening dresses and men put on their best suits and ties. And even though performances were quite ordinary, still children and adults were happy to have a chance to entertain themselves. Miner Nikolay Fedorenko took his wife and six-year-old daughter Irina to one of the circus shows.

At the performance, the audience particularly liked clown Kesha and trained monkey Afera that aimed to steal a watch or a mobile phone from someone of the audience. And the credulous clown shed crocodile tears and complained about the playful and thievish monkey to the audience.clowns

After the performance Nikolay and his family did not want to go immediately home. They dropped in some cafй, had some beer there and only after that went home. They had to walk along a dark street. When the house where they live could be already seen, the family heard some hasty steps approaching them. Nikolay looked back and immediately got a blow in the face. There were several men who attacked Nikolay, they severely beat him in silence. When the miner fell down on the ground he heard his wife and daughter scream but could not help them.
Nikolay came to himself at home; his daughter asked people living next door to help bring the blood-stained father home. The wife was sobbing violently: the robbers seized her ear-rings, rings and chains made of gold. Nikolay felt he could not speak as his jaw was broken. Suddenly, little Irina said the circus clown was among the robbers; the girl said she knew him by his voice.
The adults did not pay any attention to what the girl said, but deputy chief of the local police department Vyacheslav Med wanted to check if there was any truth in what the girl said about the clown. Within the five days of the circus' performances in the town five couples were attacked and robbed of gold on their way home after performances.

On the very last day of the circus tour the police planned to catch robbers red-handed. Policemen patrolled streets but failed to catch criminals right on the crime scene. When breathless guest actors came back to their make-up room in the circus the police was already waiting for them there. The last victim of the robbers recognized her gold jewelry among those found in the pockets of criminals. The actors kept all gold of which they stripped the audience at the rest home where the mine administration let them live during their staying in the town.
As it turned out, after the shows the clown, shy animal trainer Arthur, a cheery compere and deputy director of the circus turned into cynical and ruthless criminals.

Policemen from neighboring towns where the circus also had given performances came to Snezhnoye to join the investigation. The circus company had to stop their tour and get back home. The four criminals were arrested on charges of robbery and bodily injuries and put into a detention center in the city of Donetsk. The circus director says the arrested actors are between 25 and 35; all except for the animal trainer are single. None of them has criminal background.
The circus director cannot understand why his actors decided to commit crimes. He believes that his actors get enough money to live on. But deputy director of the circus who initiated the crimes says that a wage of $300-400 a month does not let him feel like “a real man.” To obtain this feeling, the actors rather preferred to commit crimes and rob the audience on their way home after the shows.
Marina Korets

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Author`s name Olga Savka