Bike theft is not a new crime, nor is it a difficult one in the city of Corvallis. A college town is prime pickings for bike thieves not only because of the sheer number of bikes, but because they prey on the sleep-deprived, drunk, or rushed student body. If you weren’t aware, we’re in the middle of a missing bike epidemic. It has been a serious problem for the Corvallis Police Department and bike owners alike. Though your first measure of defense should always be a quality lock, there is a new kid in town by the name of 529 Garage.
Rather than a mystery location of some sort, 529 Garage is a website and app with excellent social media integration. Based out of Portland, this service allows you to freely register a bike you own by way of serial numbers, photos, and a description. If your bike is stolen, a few quick taps on your phone and the police, your insurance company, and the rest of the 529 community will be notified. In that sense the site also functions as a kind of neighborhood watch, as users in your area will be able to keep an eye out for your stolen ride. Part social network, part lost and found, 529 Garage is popular in many states as well as Canada, and especially in college towns.
The Corvallis police held a launch event on May 28 to help community members sign up with the service. They will hold more app education events this summer in order to get as many community members on board, but you can join at any time by visiting https://project529.com/garage. Your bike deserves it!
By Nichole Bentz