Central Okanagan experiences spike in bike thefts
The number of bicycles stolen in the Central Okanagan so far this year has increased dramatically from 2017.
According to Kelowna RCMP, 478 bikes were reported stolen to police in the first 10 months of 2017. That number has grown to 704 in the same time period in 2018.
With that kind of a significant jump, police are issuing tips to prevent more people from falling victim to bike theft.
- Always keep your bicycle locked, even if only left unattended for a short period of time in public places;
- Never leave your bike unlocked in your garage, a shed, a bike cage, on your balcony, in your back yard or on the rear of your motor vehicle;
- Never leave your bike locked up outdoors overnight. Any lock can be removed with enough time and the right tools;
- Always use a high quality lock designed specifically for bicycles and ensure that you secure it to an immovable object. If possible, take all removable parts with you;
- Record your bicycle’s serial number and take photographs of your bike (regardless of the value of the bike) so that they can be added to police computer records, which helps police identify the bike should it be located;
- It’s also a good idea to have your bicycle and/or it’s accessories identified with your driver’s licence number;
Police urge bike owners to make sure they have the necessary details about the bike in the event of the theft. That includes knowing its serial number, make, model, type (mountain, road or BMX bike etc), speed and/or frame size.
RCMP also recommend that owners register their bikes, new and old, with Project 529, an online registry that Kelowna RCMP can access when stolen bikes are recovered.
Police said the free registration only takes five minutes and has a number of benefits, including:
- Allowing police to recover stolen bikes and return them to their rightful owners;
- Allowing bike owners to communicate with police and with other bike owners;
- Getting the word out about a stolen bike quickly. By using the 529 Garage App, you can tap the missing bike alert if your bike is stolen. This will trigger an alert to the 529 Garage network and social media, allowing people to keep an eye out for their stolen bikes.
- Giving you all the information should you need to provide insurance information for a stolen bike.
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