|Diego Garcia, left, calls for an end to murders like the one which cost him his son, who shared his name.|
|A crowd of protesting cyclists |
on Plaza Bolivar.
The thieves escaped with the bicycle and Garcia became one of dozens of Bogotá bicyclists killed each year, either thru accidents or by criminals.
Hundreds of angry cyclists rallied on Plaza Bolivar Sunday morning to draw attention to the deaths and to call for stiffer penalties for theft, since suspects are often released almost immediately, as well as special police units for battling bicycle theft and a national bicycle registry.
|'No more robberies.'|
|'I join the change.'|
More effective might be taking away the incentive to steal bikes by cracking down on the stolen bike market, although this will be difficult to do without complicating the sale of legitimate used bikes. One method would be with sting operations: Have a guy show up at a shady shop offering a used bike lacking proper papers, and maybe with a locked chain wrapped around its seat tube. If the shop buys the bike, they get shut for two weeks, fined and their bicycle inventory gets confisticated. Or, set up a shady bike shop and see who shows up trying to hawk bikes of dubious origin. Yet another method would be to equip nice bikes with GPS tracers, let them get stolen, and then follow them to where the thieves store their merchandise.
|A colorful character.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours