Videos are emerging of looting of bike stores in the USA, as opportunists take advantage of widespread protests across the country.
Among those victims hit in the past 48 hours, Miami’s Bike Tech Specialized store was breached on Sunday at 10.45pm local time. Local residents filmed a pick up truck piled high with stolen bikes drive away from the scene.
Protests erupted in the United States following the death of George Floyd, held under the custody of police on Monday last week in Minneapolis, allegedly in relation to use of a counterfeit note. The officers who attended the scene have all now been fired, with Derek Chauvin – videotaped kneeling on Floyd’s neck for an extended period of time – charged with the murder of Floyd.
Posting to its Facebook page, Philadelphia store Bicycle Therapy (pictured above) wrote:
“Last night our glass was broken, the gates were breached and several items were stolen. An unfortunate side effect of an otherwise important social movement. We have our lives and good insurance and therefore are more fortunate than most. We understand that more violent crimes are being done in this country than our break-in and that we are past due for change. However, destroying small family-owned businesses isn’t the solution. Let’s stand together in protest not tear each other apart. #justiceforgeorge #blacklivesmatter @ Bicycle Therapy.”
I. Martin Bicycles in Los Angeles are likewise reported to have been among victims, suffering north of $130,000 in stock loss, a figure that could have been worse still had the shop not sold a good number thus far during the Covid-19 crisis that is simultaneously hitting the population. Owner, Martin Wolff, also took to protecting the store alongside community members as it became evident it was under attack.
At the time of writing, the tension in the USA appears to be rising, with President Donald Trump yesterday taking to the White House’s Rose Garden to threatening to deploy armed military against protesters. Use of heavy police force has already been widely circulated, with many injuries reported and even further deaths.