I've seen this film last year and I could feel a sense of pity for this man after he lost his bike -- a must-have item for his job. In a moment of desperation he decided to stole somebody else's bicycle only to be caught red-handed by the unforgiving mobbed of Romans. What a cruel twist of fate indeed. His son, who idolizes him, cried and pleaded to the policeman and the owner to cut his father loose. One of the most ironic films I've seen in my lifetime. Imagine, after running on foot to chase the thief all over the city, hungry, and jobless, he was shamed instantly for doing the same deed, while his thief is out there rejoicing. De Sica sure knows how to stab you upfront with the bitterness of reality.