New Bike Registry Allows Police to Return Stolen Bikes
The holidays are here and ’tis the season for buying someone you love a new bicycle. But before you wrap that bicycle in a bow, help fight bike theft and register the bicycle in the new City Bike Index system.
The city of Davis is partnering with UC Davis, Bike Davis, the Bike Campaign and Ken’s Bike Ski Board to combat bike theft by offering free, online bicycle registration through Bike Index, a national bicycle serial number registry. The online registration system allows people to submit detailed information regarding their bicycles, including a photo and/or a copy of a purchase receipt.
There are two ways to register a bike. Do so online at www.cityofdavis.org/bikes or register in person at Ken’s Bike Ski Board at 650 G St.
Owners will provide information about their bicycles including manufacturer, serial number and identifying details into a database. Owners can also download an image of the bicycle. Davis police cannot return a bicycle without evidence of ownership.
In addition to details about you and your bicycle being easily accessible to law enforcement, your bicycle will also be outfitted with a Bike Index tamper-proof, water-resistant, QR-coded Bike Index sticker. Law enforcement can scan the sticker to retrieve your information and notify you that your bicycle has been stopped and/or recovered.
Bike theft is one of the leading property crimes in Davis and identifying stolen bicycles and returning them to their rightful owner is difficult.
On average, more than 600 bikes are reported stolen each year here. It’s estimated that far more are actually stolen, but no police report is made.
Of those bicycles that are recovered, few are ever returned to their owners because no police report was made or the owners did not have serial numbers to identify the stolen bicycles.
“Now that we have Bike Index in our city, we need to get community members registered to make this program successful,” said Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs, who added that, “the Bike Campaign organization will be hosting a registration event on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Davis Food Co-op after its Polar Bear Bike Ride.”
According to the city, Bike Index is more than just a registration database. Having a Bike Index sticker on your bike can deter theft. In Bend, Oregon, bike theft decreased by 60 percent within one year after implementing Bike Index, according to the city.
“With bike theft on the rise, we need our bike shops to get on board and provide bike registrations at the point of sale. Bike Index is a great way for bike shops to protect their customers before they leave the shop,” said Councilman Will Arnold. “With the help of volunteers, city staff will be reaching out to bike shops and apartment complexes to help register bicycles.”
What to do if your bike is stolen:
1. File a police report online at: https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/police-department/online-crime-reporting.
2. Report your bike stolen on Bike Index at: https://bikeindex.org/ so the community and law enforcement can be provided with information about your bike.
What to do if you find an abandoned bicycle:
1. Contact the Davis Police at 530-747-5400 or online at: https://www.cityofdavis.org/how-do-i/make-a-service-request
2. You can also add the bike to Bike Index by selecting “Add an abandoned bike you found” to the registry.
— Jennifer Donofrio is the City of Davis Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator. For more information, contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original post in the Davis Enterprise, Sept 13, 2021
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