Grand Forks RCMP are reminding the public to lock up their bikes and register them online.
Bike thefts are “crimes of opportunity,” Sgt. Darryl Peppler told The Gazette Thursday, Aug. 5. If it would seem obvious that bike owners should secure their bikes with sturdy locks whenever and wherever they’re left unattended, the urgency behind bike registration is probably less glaring.
Mounties can be hard-pressed to investigate bike thefts when police don’t have registration details, Sgt. Darryl Peppler told The Gazette Thursday, Aug. 5.
“We need a stolen bike’s make, model, serial number and its value,” he said, qualifying that, “If we run the serial number on a bike we believe to be stolen, but we can’t find an owner, then we’re limited in terms of what we can do.”
“What a person needs to do when they buy a bike is take a photo of it that clearly shows the serial number and then email the photo to themselves so that they’ll always have an electronic copy of it,” he explained.
Peppler gave his interview days after Grand Forks Mounties recovered two reportedly stolen bikes from a residence on the 1800-block of 68th Avenue. That recovery was part of an ongoing investigation, he said.
If your bike has been stolen, call Grand Forks RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-442-8288 and give police the bike’s serial number. Once entered into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), police anywhere in the country can run that number against bikes they believe are stolen. This can lead to criminal charges against suspected thieves, Peppler said.
Bikes can be registered online at non-profit websites like Project 529, formed in 2013 to reduce bike theft and promote cycling. To register your bike’s serial number free of charge, go to Project 529’s website at project529.com/garage.