October 19, 2016 9:02 pm

Fighting Kelowna bicycle thieves with new on-line program


KELOWNA – The number of bicycle thefts in Kelowna is up about 40 per cent so far this year compared to last year.

The Mounties are hoping the launch of Project 529 Garage in the city will reduce thefts and help return stolen bicycles to their owners.

It’s a smart-phone application and website where descriptions, serial numbers and photographs of bikes are registered.

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“So if it goes missing, you have everything you need to share with the community, law enforcement and insurance to help get your bike back,” says project co-founder J Allard.

There is also a ‘shield’ sticker that is attached to your bike.

“This is a warning to all the bike thieves out there that this bike is registered,” says Cst. Rob Brunt of the Vancouver Police Department. “So stay away from it, you’re not going to be able to sell it.”

The program has been active in Vancouver for a year.

“In ten years, bike crime has never gone down in Vancouver. This year, it finally went down,” says Brunt.

Kelowna is the 12th community in the province to have the program.

“We believe that 529 Garage will allow officers to return even more bikes to their rightful owners, as well as provide investigators with valuable evidence required to help support theft and possession of stolen property charges under the Criminal Code,” says RCMP Inspector Brent Mundle.

The app is free but the sticker costs $13.

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