According to filmmaker Casey Neistat’s latest social experiment, even taking a crowbar to a locked bike in front of a police precinct station isn’t enough to get New Yorkers to report (or notice) bike thefts. Neistat, known for his painful bike lane video (demonstrating what were to happen if a person always rode inside the lanes, obstructions and all), decided to find out how bystanders might react if they caught him trying to steal a bike, in this case, his own.
It turns out that saws, crowbars and even substituting a black friend to play the role of thief aren’t enough to get the cops’ attention, but taking a power tool to a locked bike by a subway entrance for nine minutes will. When Neistat finally explains himself to the police, he finds that not one of them has ever made an arrest for bike theft.
Well, guess this is a true testament to the power of the BIKEstander effect. Har har har. But really, the frequency at which bikes are stolen is pretty heinous—though precise numbers are hard to come by, in 2007, the New York Times reported that 60,000 bikes were stolen each year, and only 2 percent recovered. It’s also emotionally harrowing. “And when your bike is stolen your confidence in the city is shattered,” Neistat wrote. “A little piece of you dies.” Watch Neistat’s video at the Timeshere.
[via City Room]
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