Bicycle theft isn’t uncommon, as many people already know.
Chances are if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve had your bike stolen at least once, especially if you spend a lot of time in crime-prone areas. Once your bike has been stolen, it’s incredibly difficult to recover it, but 529 Garage, a community watch program for bikes, is looking to change that.
529 Garage was created in 2013 with the goal of reducing bike theft, promoting cycling, and making the areas we live more bike friendly. According to its website, theft of bicycles affects about 2 million people every year, many of those stolen bikes are involved in secondary crimes, such as being used as a criminal’s getaway vehicle.
The process is straightforward. 529 Garage provides cyclists, bike shops, police departments, schools, and cities with a set of tools and techniques that create communities that are more organized than the criminals. The program claims within the first two years after joining 529 Garage, cities see meaningful results.
The Corvallis Police Department (CPD) has joined forces with 529 Garage and they are encouraging riders to register their bikes for free through the program’s website, then come to the police department to receive a registration sticker.
Registering bikes then applying the tamper-resistant sticker makes it easier for law enforcement to identify if a bike is stolen and get it back to its owner more quickly. Registration also allows for access to the community network of 529 Garage participants – allowing you to search the registry to make sure a bike you are purchasing isn’t stolen.
According to the CPD Facebook page, if you require assistance with the registration process, officers from the Community Livability Team will be available to help citizens register their bikes every Wednesday in September at the CPD from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.