Lisa Sergeant receives her son’s bike, which was recovered by police using information registered on 529 Garage, from Const. Nate Lord of the Nanaimo RCMP Bike Patrol Unit. (Photo contributed)

Nanaimo RCMP promote registration with 529 Garage during Bike to Work and School Week

App helps collect bike information to help reunite stolen bikes with their owners

Forty nine bicycles were reported stolen in Nanaimo between Jan. 1 and April 30 of this year.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, most of the bikes that were stolen had cable locks that were cut or had simply been left unlocked.

Those were just the bikes that were reported stolen. Often bike thefts go unreported; police know bike theft victims are less likely to report bikes stolen if they can’t provide police descriptive details about their bikes, such as the make, model, serial number and colour, which can help investigators return stolen bikes to their owners when they are found.

Of 37 bikes police seized in Nanaimo during the same time period, only three of the bikes have been returned to their owners. One of the three bikes was recovered in Victoria.

Roughly 1,100 bikes were stolen in the last five years.

Nanaimo RCMP are promoting 529 Garage, a free, mobile-based bike registration app, which can help reunited owners with their stolen bikes.

“529 Garage provides the public an avenue to participate in helping police reunite bikes with their owners,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “It is critical that people record details and take photos of their bikes so they have all the information in the event it does get stolen.”

Since July 2016, about 600 bikes have been registered with 529 Garage in Nanaimo and more than 20,000 bikes have been registered in B.C. since October 2015.

The more bikes that are registered the better the chances they can be recovered by police and returned to their owners.

RCMP volunteers will be registering bikes at the following Bike to Work and School Week celebration stations:

May 30, 7-9 a.m., on the E&N Trail at Bowen Road and 3:30-5:30 p.m. on the E&N Trail at Mostar Road.

May 31, 3:30-5:30 p.m., on the E&N Trail at Departure Bay Road.

June 1, 7-9 a.m., at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital parking lot on Boundary Road.

June 2, 4-6 p.m. at the Bike to Work and School Week wrap up barbecue at Nanaimo District Secondary School.

To earn more about 529 Garage and download the free app, please visit www.project529.com.