The Prince George RCMP will once again be out in the community this cycling season assisting bike owners with registering their bikes on 529 Garage.
529 Garage is an easy to use digital bicycle registration, reporting and recovery network that enables the Prince George RCMP and bicycle enthusiasts to work together to reduce bike theft and return recovered bikes to their rightful owners.
The registration process takes about five minutes and includes essential information including the ownership details, serial number and photos of the bicycle. In the event of a theft, the information can easily be distributed by the owner to other registered riders through an alert feature on the smart phone app. The information can also be easily provided to both the police and insurance companies.
The Prince George RCMP will be attending community and biking related events throughout the rest of the spring, the summer and into the fall.
“Our goal remains the same as last year,” said Cpl. Craig Douglass, the officer leading this initiative. “We want to register as many bikes as possible so that each owner will have essential information about their bike recorded in the event it gets stolen.”
By providing bicycle enthusiasts with the means to protect their property through the 529 Garage system, the Prince George RCMP are confident that using this technology will reunite more owners with their stolen bikes and provide officers with more evidence to support charges under the Criminal Code.
For law enforcement, the 529 Garage provides powerful search capabilities that helps police investigate suspicious activities and determine the ownership of the hundreds of bikes recovered in Prince George every year. It also provides the ability for the community to check bikes to see if they have been reported stolen, visualize theft hotspots on a map, and to report tips to victims and law enforcement.
On Wednesday, May 3 from 5-8 p.m. the bike registration team will be out at the Canadian Tire parking lot. This is the first of dozens of events that RCMP volunteers plan to be at this biking season.
- Bicycles reported stolen in Prince George increased 55 per cent from 202 in 2013 to 313 reported stolen in 2016, for a total of 994 bikes reported stolen during the four years;
- From January 1 to April 30, 2017, 33 bikes have been reported stolen in the Prince George area;
- Bike thefts remain high from March until the end of October.
Police believe that only a small portion of bike theft victims ever report their bike stolen to police. This is likely because they did not record essential information like the serial number.
About Project 529
Founded in 2013, Project 529 is a diverse team of software professionals that believes that technology can enhance the cycling experience. Their first product, the 529 Garage is a bicycle registration, reporting and recovery network focused on their 10 year vision to reduce the impact of the bike theft epidemic in North America by 50 per cent.