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Bike Murder

July 3rd, 2007

Remember this bike? Well, it got brutally murdered.

Last Thursday lunch time, I took the kids to the shopping center to buy a present for a friend of theirs, who invited them for his birthday party the next day. When we got back, the school bell already rang, so I told Tiago to lock his bike in the school’s (open) bicycle stand, and to not forget to bring it home after school. He did forget though, and I only realised it Friday afternoon, when they were about to leave for the party. I sent Tiago to get the bike, but all that was left of it, was the sawed-through lock.

I figured that because no adult would steal a kid’s bike for themselves, it must have been a parent setting a really bad example for their child.

But then Gabriel spotted the yellow handlebar on top of a dumpster on the other side of the schoolyard. When I got there, it became apparent that it was not Tiago’s bike, but just the handlebar, broken off the frame of the bicycle. I corrected my earlier conclusion, now thinking that someone probably needed only some parts of it, therefore leaving the handlebar. Not that I approve of that of course, but at least the thief would have had a motive.

Yesterday lunchtime the kids came home from school, each carrying a part of the bicycle. One was the front wheel and fork, the other the rest of the frame with the back wheel. All intact, except of course for the handlebar. Apparently someone had picked up the parts, and dropped them off in the school’s entrance hall, where the kids found them. Although we now have the bike back in its entirety, we can’t use it because the handlebar is broken off the part that’s inside the front wheel fork.

I don’t get people who do such a thing really, no matter how often I read about “senseless violence” (as if violence ever makes sense) and plain vandalism. I do know one thing though: no more bikes are being taken to school. I’m just happy this happened now with a very cheap second hand bike which was getting too small anyway, and not in a few weeks with a newer bike. I prefer to learn my lessons the cheap way.

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