Bike owners across the Tri-Cities could pick up some assurance this week by taking a quick ride to downtown Port Moody.
Port Moody police (PMPD) are set to have a tent at the farmers market on Wednesday (July 27) — located at 300 Ioco Rd. — where local residents can register their bicycles with a program created to combat theft.
Spokesperson Const. Sam Zacharias tells the Tri-City News officers recovered 20 stolen bikes and received investigated 20 reported bike thefts last year.
"However, many of the recovered bikes were not returned to their owners because we were unable to track them down," he explains.
"Garage 529 is another tool in the toolbox to help us return bicycles to their owners as the conventional serial numbers can be stripped off easily."
What's Garage 529?
Garage 529 is a free initiative that helps local enforcement find stolen bikes and return them to their rightful owners.
According to the non-profit organization, it's recovered 60 bicycles of all shapes and sizes in the greater Tri-Cities area as far back as mid-April.
The B.C. branch of Garage 529 says this saves "thousands of dollars in police resources and loss of product" for bike owners.
Each bike's serial number is put into the 529 system, along with other descriptive details such as colour, make and model to help others searching for a stolen two-, three- or four-wheeler.
"Over the last two decades, bike theft in North America has grown to epidemic proportions — affecting about two million riders each year," reads a profile on Garage 529's website.
"Beyond the half-billion dollar cycling black market, many stolen bikes are involved in secondary crimes — serving as a modern 'getaway vehicle' for criminals.
"Our strategy is simple — galvanize riders, shops, police, schools and cities with a common set of tools that allow communities to become better organized than the criminals."
PMPD officers will be at the Port Moody Farmers Market from 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow to register bikes.
If you can't make it to the market, you can also visit PMPD headquarters (3051 St John's St.).
As well, Garage 529 lists the following companies and groups that can register bikes with its program: