The holidays are here and ‘tis the season for buying someone you love a new bicycle. Before you wrap that bicycle in a bow, help fight bike theft and register the bicycle in the new City Bike Index system.
The City of Davis is partnering with the University of California at Davis, Bike Davis, the Bike Campaign and Ken’s Bike Ski Board to combat bike theft by offering free, online bicycle registration through Bike Index, a national bicycle serial number registry. The online registration system allows people to submit detailed information regarding their bicycles, including a photo and/or a copy of a purchase receipt.
Registering your bike is easy. There are two ways to register your bike. Register online at www.cityofdavis.org/bikes or register in person at Ken’s Bike Ski Board at 650 G Street. Owners will provide information about their bicycles including manufacturer, serial number and identifying details into a database. Owners can also download an image of their bicycle. Davis Police cannot return a bicycle without evidence of ownership.
In addition to details about you and your bicycle being easily accessible to law enforcement, your bicycle will also be outfitted with a Bike Index tamper-proof, water-resistant, QR-coded Bike Index sticker. Law enforcement can scan the sticker to retrieve your information and notify you that your bicycle has been stopped and/or recovered.
Bike theft is one of the leading property crimes in Davis and identifying stolen bicycles and returning them to their rightful owner is difficult. On average, more than 600 bikes are reported stolen each year. It’s estimated that far more are actually stolen, but no police report is made. Of those bicycles that are recovered, few are ever returned to their owners because no police report was made or the owners did not have serial numbers to identify the stolen bicycles.
Registering bicycles is an important step in recovering stolen bicycles. Often times, when a bike is reported stolen, the owner may not have the serial number readily available. By registering the bicycle, the Police Department will have the serial number and description available, when provided, which allows the Police Department to enter the property into the California Automated Property System. This makes it easier to contact the rightful owner when the bike is recovered.
The City of Davis and UC Davis are joining over 1,200 other organizations globally that use Bike Index to fight against bike theft. Bike Index is successful in other cities facing similar bike theft challenges. In 2020, using Bike Index, the City of Calgary returned 21.5 percent of stolen bicycles compared to 12 percent before Bike Index.
Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs said, “Now that we have Bike Index in our City, we need to get community members registered to make this program successful. The Bike Campaign organization will be hosting a registration event on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Davis Food Co-op after its Polar Bear Bike Ride.”
Bike Index is more than just a registration database, having a Bike Index sticker on your bike can deter theft. In Bend, Ore., bike theft decreased by 60 percent within one year after implementing Bike Index.
“With bike theft on the rise, we need our bike shops to get on board and provide bike registrations at the point of sale. Bike Index is a great way for bike shops to protect their customers before they leave the shop,” said Councilmember Will Arnold. “With the help of volunteers, City staff will be reaching out to bike shops and apartment complexes to help register bicycles.”
What to do if your bike is stolen:
1.File a police report online at: https://www.cityofdavis.org/
2.Report your bike stolen on Bike Index at: https://bikeindex.org/ so the community and law enforcement can be provided with information about your bike.
What to do if you find an abandoned bicycle:
1.Contact the Davis Police at 530-747-5400 or online at: https://www.cityofdavis.org/
2.You can also add the bike to Bike Index by selecting “Add an abandoned bike you found” to the registry.
•If your bike is in another registry, we recommend also registering with Bike Index because this is the registry system the Davis Police are using.
•If your bike is already registered in Bike Index, you can change the organization to the “Davis CA Police Department Organization.”
•The UC Davis Bicycle Program collects $12 for their Bike Index sticker, which allows access to their lock-cutting services, secure bike storage, and funds improvements to the campus infrastructure, among other services.
For more information, contact: Jennifer Donofrio, City of Davis Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org