The Central `Alberta Crime Prevention Centre was at the Lacombe Memorial Centre promoting their #ENDBIKETHEFT campaign.
Janise Somer, program and communications coordinator, said the program is a partnership with the largest bike registry in the world — 529 Garage — which allows user to register their bikes to prevent theft and also recover stolen bikes.
“We are happy to be here to help introduce the idea of people registering their bikes for their own good and for the good of law enforcement in Lacombe,” Somer said.
529 Garage is a website and app that allows bike owners to register all their bikes in one place — with make, model colour, photos and other descriptions being right on the app. This means that if law enforcement recovers a registered bike — they can actually get it back to you.
“Every year we see hundreds of bikes auctioned off because people don’t have the information to claim them,” Somer added.
By downloading the app, you can also flag whether your bike has been stolen — allowing the local bike community and law enforcement to keep an eye out for the stolen property.
“Another good thing about it is that if someone steals it and tries to resell it — a person can run the bike’s serial number through the registry and if it comes up stolen, obviously you don’t want to buy that bike,” Somer said.
So far, cities that have instituted this registry programs has seen decreases in theft including over 30 per cent in Vancouver and Brandon — and 40 per cent in Whistler.
It is free to register, however you can purchase a license plate shield for $5which has a code linked to your registration on 529 Garage. The plate does double duties as the hard-to-remove sticker is recognized by bike thieves.
“They hate that. They want an untraceable bike,” Somer said.
So far, almost 1,000 people have registered their bikes in central Alberta and Somer and her team hope they can continue to get people on board. They will have more registration events throughout central Alberta, but you can also stop by the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre to register as well.
We have almost 1,000 registered since we implemented the program last summer. We hope many more come on board.
To register online, you can download the app or log on to cacpc.ca.