The young black Matheus Ribeiro, 22, wrongly accused of stealing his own bicycle by a white couple in Leblon, an upscale neighborhood in the south of Rio de Janeiro, is now being investigated for receiving the same vehicle.
The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro discovered that Matheus’ bicycle, bought secondhand for R$ 3,600, was stolen from a businessman, in February of this year, in Ipanema.
Matheus, who is a surf instructor, presented the police with proof of payment for the bicycle. The product was being sold on a used products website.
The man who sold the bike to Matheus is also being investigated for receipt. In a statement, the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro said that the seller said he had warned “Matheus from the beginning that he did not have an invoice and therefore the price was below the market price”.
In an interview with the Fantastic, Matheus said that he did not know that the product had an illicit origin. “No, we [Matheus e a namorada] would never do such a thing. As it is a used bicycle, we specified that it would be close to the value of a new bicycle,” he said.
The Civil Police does not have information about the author of the theft and did not inform whether the crime led to the opening of a police report at the time. The victim was located by the store that sells the original product, by the chassis number provided by the police.
The bicycle was seized and will be returned to the “legitimate owner”, informs the Civil Police, in a note.
from victim to investigated
The investigation by reception against Matheus was initiated within the scope of another investigation, of which the young black man is a victim: the one that investigates slander and racism in the episode in Leblon.
When investigating the case, which took place on June 12, the Civil Police determined an inspection on the bicycles “in order to compare the vehicles”, “due to the fact that the couple stated in the initial case that they were identical bicycles, as well as the locks”, says organ note.
Also according to the Civil Police, the expertise pointed out “that the key to the bicycle that Matheus had with was visibly tampered with from a Honda motorcycle.”
The Civil Police also says that the amount paid by the young man, of R$ 3,600, is “much lower than the market”.
“It is not possible to assume that this value means that the product is the result of a crime, because it is normal that used products do not have the same prices as a product purchased new in the store. You cannot accuse someone of a crime with such fragile evidence” , evaluates Luciana Boiteux, professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).