Bicycle owners in Williams Lake and area who haven’t already registered for 529 Garage are encouraged to do so.
The software program aims to reduce bike theft, promote cycling, and make cities and campuses more bike-friendly by having cyclists register their bike(s) for free.
RCMP Cst. Sean Doyle is overseeing the project that launched last month in Williams Lake.
“When these bikes are going stolen it’s a very big loss. I believe from last year and this year we’re over 50 for stolen bikes right now that have been reported,” Doyle said.
“It’s known that a lot of bike thefts go unreported unfortunately because people think there’s nothing the police can do. Before 529 Garage I would actually say that they are correct. There wasn’t a lot we could do, but now we have this tool and it’s such an excellent resource for police and just for the community as a whole.”
Doyle said when RCMP recover stolen bike(s) they are often ‘handcuffed’ at that point because they cannot prove the bike was stolen.
“And that’s where 529 comes in,” Doyle said.
“So 529 is an editability for police to have another database at their fingertips where we can be searching these bikes by either the shield tag i.d. or we can also search via make, model, or the bike serial number if that’s all added to the 529 app.”
After registering your bike(s), you can then purchase a 529 shield that is a tamper-resistant decal that identifies the bike as being registered through the program.
Doyle said they have handed out roughly 200 shields so far.
“I know Barking Spider and Red Shreds have advised me that the day I kind of gave my introductory speech at their one presentation a couple of weeks back that they’ve had quite a few people swing by and purchase decals from them because they are now selling them,” he said.
“Mark at Red Shreds has told me that he’s had some success already with people wanting to register their bikes, so I will be doing in the next couple of weeks an inventory of how many people have their bikes registered in Williams Lake.”