Lights, camera, action for Riga bicycle thief

Vittorio de Sica's 1948 masterpiece 'Bicycle Thieves' is a landmark in Italian neorealist cinema – and indeed world cinema. More recently, a slightly less groundbreaking performance was given by a Rīga bicycle thief, though that too was captured on camera.

On Monday, April 29, late in the evening, the staff of the Video Surveillance Center of the Riga Municipal Police noticed a man on the video surveillance cameras located in Old Riga, who used pliers to pry the lock of a bicycle on Kalēju Street, albeit his technique with the tools left much to be desired.

The velocipedal vandal strolled away from the scene of his crime at something less than high speed and threw the bike lock in a trash can on the way. The duty department of the Center Administration was immediately informed about the incident, which assigned the nearest crew.

A few minutes later, police officers spotted the leisurely getaway in progress on Aspazija Boulevard. The man was pushing the bicycle, but when he noticed the approach of the law enforcement officers, he threw the bicycle to the ground and continued on his way, suddenly finding all association with pedal power distasteful.

The police caught up with the man and stopped him. The man tried to explain that he found the bicycle on the street and decided to take it, but neglected to explain his later change of heart regarding the irresistible attraction of mechanical efficiency gains made possible by rotary motion.

Law enforcement officers found out the man's personal data and arrested him. During the search of the person, one pair of pliers was found in his pocket, and another pair was found in his backpack. During the arrest, the man behaved aggressively and tried to provoke the police officers, so it was decided to put him in the detainee compartment of the emergency vehicle and then take him to the State Police station for further procedural actions. The stolen bicycle (silver in color) was also taken to the State Police station. At the same time, the scene where the man stole the bicycle was examined. The police made sure that the lock of the other bicycle was not tampered with and left an informative note about the address where the stolen vehicle was being held so that the owner could reclaim it.

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