Bike app help­ing re­duce theft

About 800 fewer re­ported stolen in the last year

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - VANCOUVER - Wanyee li

A bike-re­cov­ery app is mak­ing strides in re­duc­ing bike theft in Van­cou­ver af­ter it part­nered with po­lice one year ago.

About 800 fewer bikes were re­ported stolen in the last 12 months com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year, amount­ing to a 35 per cent de­crease in bike theft, ac­cord­ing to 529 Garage.

“We’re thrilled that be­tween re­duced thefts and in­creased re­cov­er­ies, Van­cou­ver’s co­op­er­a­tive ap­proach im­pacted over a thou­sand bikes in just one year. We’re look­ing for­ward to repli­cat­ing this suc­cess in other ma­jor met­ros across North Amer­ica,” said J Al­lard, founder of 529 Garage.

The com­pany launched its app in fall 2015 and part­nered with Van­cou­ver po­lice dur­ing last year’s Bike to Work week to en­cour­age cy­clists to regis­ter their bikes with 529 Garage.

That ef­fort paid off, with 20,000 peo­ple reg­is­ter­ing their bikes on the app and po­lice were able to re­turn ev­ery sin­gle stolen 529 Garage bike they could get their hands on, to its owner. In other words, po­lice have had a 100 per cent suc­cess rate re­turn­ing re­cov­ered bikes to their own­ers if it is reg­is­tered with 529 Garage, ac­cord­ing to Const. Jason Doucette, spokesper­son for Van­cou­ver po­lice.

That’s why Van­cou­ver po­lice are once again en­cour­ag­ing cy­clists to regis­ter their bikes with 529 Garage for this year’s Bike to Work week, run­ning May 29 to June 4.

Over 2,000 bikes are stolen ev­ery year in Van­cou­ver and only 15 per cent of the re­cov­ered bikes were re­turned to own­ers, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. That’s be­cause many peo­ple aren’t able to pro­vide po­lice with the se­rial num­ber of their bike or other iden­ti­fy­ing de­scrip­tors, said Doucette.

“Help us com­bat prop­erty crime by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 529 Garage regis­tra­tion and re­cov­ery pro­gram. It’s free to regis­ter and it will greatly im­prove the chances of get­ting your bike back should it be stolen.”

The 529 Garage main­tains a record of your bike’s se­rial num­ber and ap­pear­ance as well as the owner’s con­tact in­for­ma­tion, which then en­ables po­lice to re­unite peo­ple with their stolen bikes if it is re­cov­ered.

Own­ers of reg­is­tered bikes are also able to alert lo­cal po­lice if their bike is stolen through the app.

Emily Jack­son/mEtro

A po­lice of­fi­cer

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