A group of thieves going on a joy ride on stolen motorcycles in Rio De Janeiro normally wouldn’t draw much attention. It happens in lots of places. But the scale and sheer brazenness of this post-heist ride — some of it captured on video — is remarkable.
The video published this week by the Brazilian daily O Globo shows dozens of people riding on nearly 200 motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles stolen from a state government storage area on Dec. 31.
The group takes over a street in Rio, Critical Mass style, and appears to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Among the mass of bikes, we see an ATV with at least four people on it, including one guy facing backwards while sitting on top of the front wheel.
The theft and video have been covered on leading Brazilian T.V. networks, and that may have caused a headache for the perpetrators. Police say they believe the bikes were stolen on orders from a local gang leader — Celso Pinheiro Pimenta, a.k.a. “Playboy,” one of the most wanted men in Rio. Globo reports that about half of the bikes have since been returned, dropped off at the door of the depot. Police suspect the gang leader ordered the bikes returned out of concern all of the attention would bring increased police activity on his turf.
It might be a bit late. TV network Globo reports police are currently working to recover the rest.