RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Berube stands amongst stolen property seized last week. He said often bikes are dismantled and have parts swapped to hide their identity.

RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Berube stands amongst stolen property seized last week. He said often bikes are dismantled and have parts swapped to hide their identity.

West Shore bike registry continues to grow

The program allows West Shore RCMP the means to trace lost or stolen bicycles.

A relatively new program offered by the West Shore RCMP is starting to gain traction as more and more residents sign on.

Launched in the winter of 2015, the local detachment’s bike registry has seen nearly 200 bicycles registered. This free program gives police a means to trace lost or stolen bicycles. The registration decals are also meant to act as a deterrent to potential thieves.

“We have received a positive response from community members and its success will only be measured by the number of bikes that have been lost or stolen, that will be found and returned to their owners,” said Const. Alex Berube, West Shore RCMP spokesperson.

So far this month, six bicycles have been reported stolen on the West Shore, the same number stolen for the entire month last year.

Last August, officers also discovered a cache of roughly 40 stolen bicycles, both whole and in pieces. Of those bikes, only three were able to be returned to their rightful owner by retracing serial numbers.

“The difference with your registered bike is we will be able to return the bicycle to you if found. We have all the bicycle’s info, including photos, to help with these bike theft investigations,” Berube noted. “Not to mention that a bike thief might think twice about stealing a bicycle identified as being registered with West Shore RCMP … We are all about preventing thefts.”

Bicycles are often stolen by opportunity seeking thieves, he said, as they are a quick, silent and effective way for prolific offenders to move around an area to commit crimes. Unlike motor vehicles, they lack licence plates that help identify the owner, which is the main motivation behind the bike program. The local detachment is hoping to see the registry continue to grow as more residents learn about it.

To register your bike, visit the West Shore RCMP, 698 Atkins Ave., Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. You can also go to bit.ly/2bB7K9G to request a copy of the forms online before visiting the local detachment.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com