Bike Calgary’s Strategy to Reduce Bike Theft

Having your bike stolen sucks! It interrupts your life, costs money, and undermines your faith in people. After all, our bikes are more than just tools for mobility. We get it. That’s why Bike Calgary is taking a multi-pronged approach to reducing bike theft in Calgary. Our strategy has two main components, with several supporting actions. Check back on this blog site for future posts and more information about dealing with bike theft.

  1. Make it harder to steal your bike (or easier to recover if it’s stolen)
  2. Make it harder to sell stolen bikes (and therefore less desirable to steal them)
Bike Index sticker

This is the author’s Bike Index sticker. Feel free to scan the QR code to see what information is shown.

Harder to steal:

  • We need your help advocating for more secure bike parking options. This could be better City-owned racks in more visible locations, or it could be locked bike parking cages at commercial buildings. The more we all politely request more secure parking, with better visibility (including video camera coverage), the easier it will be to securely lock your bike. High quality locks and proper locking procedures are part of this effort.

Easier to recover:

  • Register your bike on Bike Index. Get a sticker from the Calgary Police Service, Bike Calgary, or your local bike shop.A sticker shows potential thieves that your bike is registered on Bike Index and will be harder to sell.
  • The Calgary Police Service, and several other police forces across Canada and the USA, are partnering with Bike Index. If your bike is stolen, flag it as such on Bike Index and if the police recover any stolen bikes they check Bike Index to reunite the bikes with their owners. Also, filing a police report for your stolen bike helps you get insurance money and allows the police to track problem areas of the city for bike theft. Every year, the police recover thousands of bikes that they are not able to reunite with their owners. Help them get your bike back to you!

Harder to sell stolen bikes:

  • Registering your bike on Bike Index, especially with a sticker on your frame, makes it more likely that a potential purchaser of your stolen bike can find out that it belongs to you.
  • Finally, and this part is really important, when buying a used bike, check the serial number on Bike Index. Get your friends and family to do the same thing. If enough people do this, and don’t buy stolen bikes (and notify the police if you find a stolen bike for sale), it makes it hard to sell a stolen bike, and less useful for thieves to steal bikes. This is ultimately how we can all help reduce bike theft – make it worthless to steal a bike.
bike theft sticker showing locking options

Check back on the Bike Calgary website periodically for more information about reducing bike theft. We will be posting more detailed information about actions you can take to help us with our strategy, partnerships we are setting up to amplify these messages, and success stories. Please let us know about your story in the comment section or social media. Did you have a bike stolen? Was it registered? Did you get it back? The more we talk about the risks and opportunities, the more we can all learn.

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