Kamloops RCMP introduce new tool in battling bike thefts

By Adam Donnelly
August 21, 2017 - 5:57pm

KAMLOOPS — When a bike is stolen, riders can be out thousands of dollars with little hope of getting their bikes back. on Saturday, the Kamloops RCMP and city staffers were over at Norkam lock and cycle, spreading the word about a new anti-theft initiative they’re working on to help curb bike thefts and make it easier to catch bike thieves.

The anti-theft initiative is called Project 529 Garage. It’s a North American bike registry, which riders use to store important information, like the serial number and photos of their bikes. If a registered bike is stolen, owners can use an app to put out an area-wide bulletin to alert the local cycling community, as well as law enforcement.

“A lot of people, we find the bike gets stolen, they call the police and they don’t have a picture of their bike, they don’t know the serial number, they don’t know the identifying marks,” Kamloops RCMP Crime Prevention Officer Cst. Sofie Winkels explained. “If you don’t have that [info], odds of recovering your bike are pretty slim. 529 Garage is an app… we put all your bike information in. That way, if it does get stolen, you have that info, as well as you can send an alert out to your geographical area, saying ‘Hey, my bike got stolen.’”

Project 529 is based in Vancouver, Seattle and Washington DC, with the goal of reducing bike thefts in North America by 50% by 2025. As part of that, Cst. Winkels says they’ve developed a special tamper proof sticker, which police can use to identify stolen bikes if they come across them.

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