With a touch of fanfare, a Mexico City prosecutor this week announced police have arrested four men suspected of stealing the German ambassador’s $2,300 bicycle and selling it on the black market for $30.
During a press conference earlier this week, Mexican authorities said the four men allegedly cut the locks and stole two bicycles belonging to German Ambassador Viktor Elbling and his friend.
The bikes have not been recovered, but the ambassador is taking the loss in stride. “Bike theft is a lesser evil compared to other graver crimes,” he tweeted.
He added that he remains committed to environmentally friendly transportation, and plans to buy a new bike.
The incident has caused a stir on Mexican social media, where people are mocking police and the German ambassador with the hashtag #BiciRobo or #BikeTheft. Mexicans are questioning why police responded so swiftly to the diplomat's bike theft, when so many other similar cases get ignored.
“This is only news because he’s someone ‘important.’ Each day they steal, mug and kill, but it’s irrelevant because we’re nobody.”
Some took out their frustrations on the German ambassador himself:
“If I had a $2,300 bike I would at least spend $100 on a lock.”
“It didn’t have diplomatic plates? Embarrassing.”
No, bueno, al menos el robo de la bici del embajador de Alemania demuestra que entre los ladrones no hay discriminación :B
— ☾ (@Eieseibeiel) December 2, 2015
“At least stealing the German Ambassador’s bike shows there’s no discrimination among thieves.”
One Twitter user even criticized the ambassador for not knowing basic bike code:
“Honorable Ambassador, according to regulation, you can’t bike on the sidewalk.”
Others mocked the media's coverage of the incident:
“German Ambassador will buy another bike after theft — El Universal [Mexican newspaper]”