Screen Shot: TwinzTV (YouTube).

Bike Prank Gone too far?

Look, we get it. Bicycle thieves are annoying. They take your wheels, man. They take away your precious wheels and use them for their own amusement. Honestly, we sympathise with anyone who's had their bike stolen. We really do. It's not nice having your stuff stolen.

However, and this might sound a little bit controversial, we need to remember that bike thieves are people too. I know we all like to paint them as cardboard cut-out villains, and say things like "if I ever meet the guy who stole my bike, I'd rearrange his fridge magnets, and egg his nan," but when it comes down to it...they're human beings just like us.

Why are we suddenly showing a thinly-sliced sliver of sympathy to bike thieves? Because of this hidden camera video uploaded to YouTube by Twinz TV, that's why. The video is titled "INSANE ELECTRIC BAIT BIKE PRANK IN THE HOOD!" and, basically, we don't like what it's about. We don't like the fact that it features an electrified bike saddle that sadistically zaps opportunistic bike-grabbers in the crown jewels.

Screen Shot: TwinzTV (YouTube).

Even ignoring the uncomfortable truth that both the "pranksters" are white, and that they've taken their torture-porn bicycle to what's clearly an economically-deprived area they've labelled "THE HOOD" (in capital letters, no less), this whole bike prank reeks of dehumanising schadenfreude.

Remember. The bike involved isn't padlocked so it's hardly a calculated crime by those involved. Instead it's a spur-of-the-moment, sticky finger, type of theft.  An Artful Dodger style, chance your arm while you can, robbery that arguably doesn't deserve a bucketload of pain being administered directly to the nut-sack. I thought, as a society, we'd completely moved on from corporate punishment and medieval retributions. Obviously not.

Screen Shot: TwinzTV (YouTube).

Now, just so we're clear, we're not saying it's right to take something off the street just because it isn't locked down. It's not. Please don't take things off the street if the things you're taking don't belong to you. You can't just walk up to a traffic cone and say, "well, Mpora told me it's totally OK to walk off with things that aren't locked down...so I'm going to take this." That's not what we're saying. Not in the slightest.

We just think it's time to take a step-back, look at footage like this, and question whether this is really such a good idea when society is riddled by huge wealth gaps and social inequality. Of course, the video's main purpose is to make us laugh and that's fine. However when you consider the bigger picture, you suddenly realise that laughing at people who might not be able to afford their own bike isn't actually that funny.

Crime is wrong, of course it is, but let's not turn the whole issue into a mean-spirited slapstick gag. There's deeper issues at play here so, as funny as it might seem on paper to electrocute bike thieves right in the testicles, maybe it's time we stopped with the escalating punishments being dished out in hidden camera pranks such as this. Has this bike prank taken a step too far? You decide.

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