Beijing Bicycle Thieves

I’ll be heading back to Beijing on Friday, so this afternoon I’ ve been trying to catch up on a bit of China-related news.  In doing so, I ran across this article, titled Database to Monitor Bicycle Thieves in China.  Here’s an excerpt: 

Beijing police have announced plans to crack down on bicycle theft by establishing a database of thieves. Wang Xiaobing, an officer with Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security, said bike theft was rampant in the city and the database was needed. "Citizens who buy stolen bicycles for the first time will receive criticism and education," he said. However, if they do it a second time, their action will be regarded as "buying stolen goods" and they will receive public security penalties including a warning, detention or even re-education through labor. Personal information such as names and photos will be recorded in the database. People who purchase large numbers of stolen bicycles will be jailed for committing the crime of Buying Stolen Goods, according to the Criminal Law.

So, let me get this straight, steal a bike once and you get criticized and educated.  If that doesn’t work and you steal a second time, then you’ll get re-educated, with a little help from some hard labor.  And we’ll even take your picture!  The article goes on to say that over 1700 bike theives were arrested in Beijing since the beginning of the year. 

Hmmm. I wonder if they got the guy who took mine!!