Edmund Burke didn’t really say it, but it still rings true: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. In a test of this maxim, filmmaker Casey Neistat tries to steal his own bike in several locations around New York City and finds that most people do nothing about it—even when it’s done right in front of a police station.

I recently spent a couple of days conducting a bike theft experiment, which I first tried with my brother Van in 2005. I locked my own bike up and then proceeded to steal it, using brazen means — like a giant crowbar — in audacious locations, including directly in front of a police station. I wanted to find out whether onlookers or the cops would intervene. What you see here in my film are the results.

When citizens turn a blind eye to theft, we shouldn’t be surprised when our property gets stolen.

(Via: Kottke)

  • dennissinclair

    These days “good samaritans” get hurt or wind up being sued, so most people figure: Why get involved.  I trie dot step in to a woman having her purse picked a few years ago.  I got beaten up by the thugs cohorts just off Times Square (West 45th) no less and just before the Saturday matinee with thousands of people present.