Santa Cruz is world famous for its incredible trails, but it has also developed a rep for its high theft rate. In the first five months of this year alone, 155 bikes were reported stolen. Imagine how many went unreported? Many times these bikes are gone forever, but some owners have had success tracking down high-end custom bikes by sharing information online.
SCPD Instagram post reunites $7000 bike back to its rightful owner! A friend recognized the unique brand EVIL Insurgent…
And it’s not just riders that are using the internet to track down stolen bikes, the local police are turning to technology to help reunite old friends. Just a few weeks ago they posted a picture of a stolen Evil on Instagram and a friend of the owner recognized the bike. Had a different set of circumstances played out, the owner may have never seen his rig again.
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The Santa Cruz Police recover dozens of stolen bikes each year, but since few are reported stolen by owners or registered, many end up being donated to local nonprofit organizations or auctioned off. For years the police have had a bike registration program but it required a visit to a participating bike shop or police headquarters.
To help motivate more people to register their bikes, SCPD has just launched a free method for registering your bike online. Once your information is entered, the police mail out a sticker with an ID number that is applied to your bike. This license never expires and in the event that your whip is ever stolen, the unique ID (which is tied to your serial number and other relevant information) will expedite the return process.
The best part about this registration sticker is that information is available to all police agencies in California. There is technically no statewide database, but the DMV tracks which police department has been assigned each number. So if a stolen bike is recovered in another part of the state, the police can contact the local department the license is registered to and track down the rightful owner. Cyclelicious has a great article on how this works available here.
Have you registered your bike with the local police department? Have you had your bike stolen and then returned with the aid of a bike registration? Please share your stories in the comments section below.
To learn more, visit SCPD.