The groups are encouraging bikers to download the 529 Garage App (from iTunes or Google Play) and set up a profile – register their bikes, the serial number and a description and a few pics, plus some contact information. This data is only accessible to the police.
Then, if you walk out of the coffee shop and your bike is gone, you can report it stolen in the 529 app and every other registered user within 15km will be immediately notified to keep an eye out for your missing wheels, and you’ll redirected to the Police’s bike theft reporting page presented with an option to notify the police, too.
In 5 simple steps, you are closer to ending bike theft in Ottawa! How it works:
- Register your bike on our App
- Shield your bike with a sticker
- If the bike is missing – file a report and send an alert
- The community kicks in helping to recover your bike
- Recover your bike !
The stickers can be picked up at various events around Ottawa, including this weekend’s Cyclofusion Bike Fair.
“This is a fantastic tool to reduce bike thefts in the city,” said OPS bike expert Constable Chuck Benoit. “It’s a great way to connect with Ottawa’s cycling community and it encourages us to look out for each other. It’s also an effective way to help the police recover your bike quickly.”
The Police offer other tips for keeping your bike secure, too:
- We recommend that you purchase a quality bike lock, preferably made out of solid steel. Having two locks to secure your bike is even better.
- Find out if your college, university, or place of work participates in a bike program with locked, gated parking areas.
- If you’re parking in an open area, make sure you secure your bike to a large fixed object in a well-lit area (for example a parking meter or an anchored bike rack). If possible, park your bike where there is natural surveillance (such as a bike rack positioned near heavy traffic, or in front of a window where there is an office in sight of the bike, etc).
- Position your lock around the fixed object, bike frame, and back wheel. If you have a second lock, place it around the bike frame and front wheel. If possible, another good option is to remove the front wheel and lock it next to the back wheel. Also, if you have an easily removable seat, you may want to remove it and take it with you to deter thieves.
- Avoid parking your bike in the same location every day so a thief can’t just come back with the needed tools.
- Point the keyhole of your lock toward the ground so it’s harder for a thief to work quickly on the lock. And keep the lock off the ground so a thief cannot crush the lock.
- It’s always good idea to take pictures of any valuables you own (including your bike!). This assists police in investigations as well as having a record for your insurance companies.