The Vancouver Police Department is making strides to combat bike theft by launching a registration system that will make tracking stolen bikes easier.
The Vancouver Bike Registration is a project between the VPD, the City of Vancouver and 529 Garage, an American-based registry that has recovered $15 million worth of bikes since its launch last year. Bike owners can register their bikes before they’re stolen, making the possibility of recovery much greater.
“Our goal is to make Vancouver the most secure city in Canada to ride a bicycle,” said deputy Chief Constable Warren Lemcke in a statement.
“The 529 Garage registry will allow officers to quickly and efficiently recognize a stolen bicycle and get that bike back to its owner.”
The VPD says over 2,000 bikes are reported stolen yearly in Vancouver – many of them end up at the VPD property office, but only 10 per cent of recovered bikes end up back to their owners.
In the first three years of registration, the VPD want to register 10,000 bikes for free as the first step toward having every bicycle in Canada and the U.S. in one single, traceable database.
“In attacking the $500 million bike theft epidemic in North America, we felt it was vital to create more than a bike registration database,” said J Allard, founder of Project 529 in a statement.
“We wanted to create an active network of cyclists that could look out for one another and assist law enforcement with real-time alerts and easy reporting. We are thrilled to partner with Vancouver to help their community be proactive in protecting their property.”
The VPD say a woman was recently reunited with her stolen bike in Vancouver after 36 hours thanks to the registry.
All this week, the VPD and Project 529 are setting up registration spots throughout the city: