Successful anti-bike theft program returns to the community

The Prince George RCMP and local volunteers will be out at many events throughout the city again this year to help residents protect their bicycles.  Photos and essential information will be recorded in the 529 Garage APP for easy access in the event that the bike gets stolen.

The 529 Garage APP, created by Project 529, enables the Prince George RCMP and bicycle enthusiasts to work together to reduce bike theft and return recovered bikes to their rightful owners.  By providing bicycle enthusiasts with the means to protect their property through the 529 Garage system, the Prince George RCMP have seen this technology reunite owners with their stolen bikes, and in two cases, before the owners knew their bike had been stolen.  Having vital information including serial numbers added to police computer systems, allows for a greater chance of returning stolen bikes to owners.  It will also provide officers with more evidence to support charges under the Criminal Code.

“It has been very exciting to see the public evolve from knowing nothing about this program to where they seek us out to get their bikes registered,” said Cpl. Craig Douglass, the officer leading this initiative.  “It has been equally exciting to see bikes get returned to owners instead of going to auction.”

The Prince George RCMP have reviewed each stolen bike file from January 1 to October 31, 2017 and compiled some statistics.  During this time, the Prince George RCMP received 146 reports of stolen bikes involving 164 bikes.  The following are statistics derived from these theft of bike files:

  • 45 owners did not know the make and model of their bike(s);
  • Serial numbers were not provided for 109 bikes (67 per cent);
  • Purchase value was provided for 73 bikes, which totalled $78,178.An average of $1,070 per bike;
  • At least 97 bikes were NOT locked (some victims did not report whether the bikes(s) were locked);
  • 10 of the locked bikes were locked by an easily defeated cable;
  • 31 were recovered (19 per cent);
  • 13 of the 164 stolen bikes were registered with 529 Garage (eight per cent).Two of the 13 were registered after the theft;
  • Seven of the 13 registered bikes were recovered and returned to owners (54 per cent);
  • Registered bikes had a recovery rate 6.75 times higher than unregistered bikes;
  • Of the seven recovered via the 529 Garage App, two owners were not aware their bikes were stolen;
  • One bike was returned to its owner through the App without any police involvement (this bike is not counted in any of the above stats).

For the second year in a row, the Prince George RCMP will be raffling off a 2018 Norco Storm mountain bike graciously donated by Cycle World and Norco.  Bike owners get one entry for each bike they register at one of our registration events this biking season.  Draw date will be the end of September 2018.

The registration team will be out at these events in the next 10 days:

Saturday June 16th     

12:00 PM

2:00 PM

McIntyre Crescent Safety Day, McIntyre Crescent

Wednesday June 20th     

5:30 PM

8:30 PM

Otway Recreational Area

Sunday June 24th    

9:00 AM

12:00 PM

Ride Don’t Hide, CN Centre parking lot, Ospika Boulevard

Updated list of event dates, times and locations will be posted on the RCMP website at www.princegeorge.rcmp.ca.  Click the Bike Theft Prevention Program link.

The free registration process takes about five minutes and includes essential information such as the ownership details, serial number and photos of the bicycle. 

About Project 529

Founded in 2013, Project 529 is a diverse team of software professionals that believes that technology can enhance the cycling experience.  Following the Canadian launch in October 2015, the 529 campaign has spread rapidly across BC agencies, schools and bike shops. The 529 Garage is an anti-bike theft platform that brings law enforcement and the cycling community together to attack this problem via a smartphone application and cloud services. The system allows cyclists, shops and organizations to register bicycles in under five minutes. If a bicycle is stolen, the victim can alert the local cycling community and law enforcement with just a few taps from their smartphone. The system also gives law enforcement modern tools to locate owners, communicate with victims and cooperate with partner agencies across North America.

If you have any information about bike theft in the Prince George area or persons that may be responsible, please contact the Prince George RCMP at (250)561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca (English only).  You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers.  If you provide information that leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property, you could be eligible for a cash reward.