Cycling-friendly cities scramble to combat rising bike thefts"The bad guys are better organized than the good guys," said J Allard, creator of Project 529, a bike registry and theft reporting tool. "The thieves know they have many things working in their favor."
Red Deer bike registry program helping reduce thefts“The value of 529 Garage, tamper-resistant decals shouldn’t be understated,” says Somer. “When a would-be thief sees the shield, they know it is registered and therefore not an easy target.”
City police 'Hot Wheels' unit shuts down five bike 'chop shops,' return dozens of stolen bicycles“Close to 6,000 bikes have been registered to date and, of the 154 bikes that have been reported stolen, 39 per cent have been returned to the rightful owner.”
Bike thefts are increasing in Canada: Here's what you can do to protect your bike“Our belief would be that the increase in bike theft is more a function of increased supply and demand,” Allard says. “There are more people riding, more bikes being parked and more people looking to buy used bikes. In general all good trends for cycling, but all serve to also fuel thefts.”
Bike Thefts Are on the Rise. Here’s How to Fight Back“I’m the humble tool maker,” Allard said. “The real power of the system comes from people coming together.”
Bike thefts continue to plague Moab area“Project 529 moving forward will be heavily utilized by the Moab City Police Department in tracking, and documenting bicycles stolen in our area,” read the Oct. 21 MPD Facebook post.
Bike thefts spike across U.S. as cycling becomes more popularAllard recommends that riders register their bikes, like they would a car, by taking photographs and recording the bike's serial number and other unique characteristics through an app. "That way, if your bike gets ripped off and you call the police, you have all of the info you need," he said.
Bike Thefts Are Up 27% in Pandemic N.Y.C.Stolen bike figures are likely an undercount since only one in five bike thefts are reported to the police, according to 529 Garage.
Police putting brakes on bike thefts in Guelph with help of appDewar said the number of thefts has slowly decreased since 2019, when the force started using an app called 529 Garage. Owners can enter details like their bike's serial numbers into a national database, which can then be shared with police.
Prince George RCMP, Nechako Rotary teaming up for 529 Garage Great Big Bike Registry“The Prince George RCMP is excited to partner with the Nechako Rotary Club to help end bike theft in our community,” Prince George RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass says in a release.
Delta Police Department re-launches Garage 529 bike program“I looked back at 2019 and looked back during this period from last year to this year and for this summer compared to last summer we have fewer thefts than we did last year,” said DPD spokesperson Cris Leykauf. “July 2020 was significantly down compared to last year, however, we do seem to be ahead of where we were in August from last year. Also these are also the ones that have been reported to police and we know there are people who don’t necessarily report things such as bike theft.”
Nanaimo RCMP say increase in cycling opens up potential for more bike thefts“Many people are looking for fun activities that get people outside while still following provincial health recommendations. Cycling is a great way to do this,” the release noted, adding that more bikes on the trails and roads, however, means “more opportunities for bike thieves.”
New Bike Registration Program at University of IllinoisJoining the database will help riders to easily and securely register their bikes. The system also provides the capacity to broadcast a “Missing Bike Bulletin” to the 529 community and social networks that will enable identification and recovery of stolen bikes.
London police call first bicycle registry a ‘success’; two bikes recovered in one weekend“The initiation for a bicycle registry for the whole city (saw) a couple of success stories in the last five months.”
Police recover 30 stolen bicycles at area 'chop shops'Almost 5,000 bicycles have already been registered, according to police, and in the past two weeks five registered bikes have been recovered and returned to their owners.
WashU in St. Louis Now Offers Free Bike Registration through Project 529One way WashU has recently reinforced its commitment to supporting bicycling is by rolling out a new bike registration program, through the 529 Garage, the industry’s first mobile-based bicycle registration system designed for college campuses.
Missoula launches new bike registration program“We know from people reporting their bikes lost or stolen that a majority of bike owners don’t have their serial number documented. The Project 529 app is a fantastic way to upload pictures of your actual bike – including aftermarket parts - while documenting the serial number, and it makes it easy for people in the community to verify a used bike they are buying hasn’t been reported stolen,” said Missoula Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Ethan Smith.
Police in Canada's capital city use Project 529 as their official bike registration partner“I was blown away by how much the community was excited about this. We hosted registration events and they would line up from start to finish,” he said. “We had to close down and the lineup was still there. It was embraced by the cycling community.”
Hugs and smiles all around after stolen bike recoveredThis a great story with an even better ending. Were not sure who was happier; Cst. Long or Cameryn. Either way, it was a win-win for both and another reminder of the importance of taking 5 minutes out of your day and registering your bikes at Project 529, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
Project 529 bike registry system launches in Regina to combat bike theft“It’s insane. Especially at the beginning of spring and then usually towards the end of summer, it’s like we get a call almost once a day where people lost their bikes and want to see if we have the serial number on file.”
Regina police rolling out new tactic to prevent bike theftsThe Regina Police Service is tackling what it calls the rampant bike theft issue in the city through a new partnership with project529, an online registry and community aiming to lower bike theft statistics.
Every 30 Seconds, One Bike Is Stolen. Here’s How to Fight BackSo it’s not necessarily the fault of police departments, as Allard said many assume. Instead, it’s hard to reunite bikes with their proper owners largely because people don’t know their serial number, don’t register their bike, and don’t report the theft to police.
New Research Claims 2 Million Bikes Are Stolen in North America Every YearProject 529 claims that 2 million bikes are stolen across North America every year. That works out at roughly 4 every minute or one every 15 seconds. They also claim this figure has doubled since the turn of the millennium.
Bicycle theft surpasses 2 million a year in the USACycling advocacy and registration programme 529 has worked in tandem with police, universities and bike shops to create a database from which it has reached these figures. The database, founded by former Microsoft executive J Allard, is said to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Bike theft prevention program expands into VernonBike thefts in the North Okanagan may become trickier for would-be criminals due in large part to a new partnership. The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is partnering with Project 529 to use 529 Garage, as part of its bike theft prevention program.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP launch bike theft prevention program“In the event a bike is stolen, 529 Garage assists police in efficiently returning stolen bikes to their rightful owners, consequently saving thousands of dollars in police resources and loss of product for B.C. citizens. The program can be accessed online and through a smartphone application.”
529 Garage bike registry program gets new sponsor and more retailers where shield is available“The response to the registry has been amazing,” said Project Coordinator Sergeant Art Wong. “We are delighted to have Safer Roads Ottawa on board; they have been a valued partner with Ottawa Police on multiple projects.”
Ottawa police collaborate to launch bike registry and anti-theft app"When you register your bike with 529 Garage, you not only protect your own bike, but you'll be part of a community working together to eliminate bike theft in Ottawa"
Time to broaden the search for bike-theft solutionsIn actual fact, the city’s bike registry is really more of a good idea trapped inside bad execution. The registry is neither popular nor effective and does not get at the heart of the issue. In other words, it does not serve as a deterrent to the tidal wave of bike thefts occurring in this community.
Granville Island rolling out free valet service for cyclists“The complimentary Bike Valet we sponsor each summer, and our partnerships with the VPD and Project 529, have been instrumental in decreasing bike theft and encouraging cycling on the Island.”
Project 529, Nice wheels.Vancouver bike theft is now down an impressive 30 per cent. The program has ballooned to 35 municipalities and more than 100 bicycle shops throughout British Columbia; thefts have dropped a staggering 55 per cent in Whistler and 30 per cent in Richmond in the last year alone. Local bike registration has exceeded 70,000, and the database holds more than 800,000 searchable bikes worldwide.
529 Garage App Now Has the Largest Number of Registered Bikes in the WorldThe app 529 Garage, which debuted nearly three years ago as a joint pilot project by Vancouver police and avid cyclist and former Xbox developer J Allard to combat bike crime, has now become the world’s largest bicycle registration program with more than 800,000 searchable bikes.
Bike registered in Prince George, stolen in Penticton, found in VancouverCount Remko Schrik among the believers in 529 Garage. Fast forward to a bit more than a year later and Schrik was visiting his wife's parents in Penticton when they became the victims of a heist on par with something an international jewel thief would pull off.
VPD pilot project credited with 30 per cent drop in bicycle theftsA joint initiative between the Vancouver Police Department, the City of Vancouver, and Project 529, has resulted in a 30 per cent drop in bike theft.
Bike theft reports in Vancouver down 30 per cent in last three years. Police credit online bike registration system Project 529“Vancouver is recognized as a world leader in targeting bike crime,” William Moose, consultant for the World Bank, said in a press release. “The World bank looked into Vancouver when researching the global best practices in fighting bike theft and used the services of one of VPD’s own and 529 to advise the City of Bogota on its bicycle security strategy.”
App that slashed Vancouver bike thefts becomes a model for the worldThe world of organized bike crime stretches from small-scale to large-scale, Chow said, noting some thieves use bicycles to commit other crimes, others may sell off bike parts, while organized groups may move costly bikes across borders.
Bike thefts in Whistler down 57% this year, police say“Even though we’ve seen the amazing change in statistics from two years ago to today, we are not giving up"
Granville Island Sees Massive drop in bike Thefts“We are pleased that our teamwork has had such a positive effect on the Granville Island experience for our bike-riding visitors,” said Granville Island spokesperson Scott Fraser. “Our results have shown that by working together, we can make truly impactful positive change in our community.”
'Bike theft is not inevitable': Vancouver rolls out a cycle crime revolution“Cycling needs to be convenient, and there will always be some risk of theft, but what’s encouraging is they have demonstrated some very clear steps in reducing bike thefts,” Jane says. “This shows that theft is not inevitable in a bike-friendly city.”
Anti-Bike Theft Program Returns to Prince George“In the last year, the stats have gone down and we think it’s because of a large part of this program. The previous four-five years it was going up steadily. Bike theft has been taking off and unfortunately, it doesn’t get as much attention as serious crimes.”
Bike theft in Vancouver drops 30% thanks to new app. Will other Canadian cities catch on?“I came running back to Vancouver with the idea,” Brunt said. “Then in October 2015, we launched the app. We had a goal to register 10,000 bikes in three years. I thought that was brave and we would not come close.”
Nanaimo RCMP promote registration with 529 Garage during Bike to Work and School Week“529 Garage provides the public an avenue to participate in helping police reunite bikes with their owners. It is critical that people record details and take photos of their bikes so they have all the information in the event it does get stolen.”
Nanaimo woman gets her stolen bike back, thanks to smartphone app“I’m thrilled to get my bike back. The process was so easy and the more people use it, the better it will be.”
Bike registry services merge as Project 529 buys National Bike Registry"We're very happy to pass the baton to the team at Project 529 to attack the bicycle theft epidemic," said Eddie Orton, who has sponsored the NBR effort for over two decades. "The passion and capabilities of the team at 529 will be able to take our work to the next level and better serve our customers and partners."
David and Goliath: How a Tiny Organization is Taking On the Bike Theft Industry“It’s a simple problem,” said Allard. “The cops aren’t sitting around with a parking lot full of cars going ‘hhmm I wonder whose Accord that is.’ With planes, cars, everything, they know exactly who it belongs to. With bikes, because there’s no compulsory registration, they have no way to get the bikes back to the owners.”
New 529 Garage project hopes to decrease bike thefts in Vancouver“In attacking the $500-million bike theft epidemic in North America, we felt it was vital to create more than a bike registration database,” said J. Allard, founder of Project 529.
Project 529 Debuts Anti-Bike Theft App at Sea Otter"We started with the idea of preventing bike theft because we wanted to do something that engaged the cycling community and would help solve a real problem. We have a long list of ideas that we want to bring to market, and this is just the first. We know we’re not going to solve theft one hundred percent, and we know that what can be solved won’t be done overnight, so we decided... let’s start now.”
Bike thefts in Vancouver down 30% thanks to Project 529 registry, police say"Today, Vancouver is recognized as the leader in addressing this epidemic, so much so that so that cities across North America are looking to the blueprint that's been established here to bring to their own cities," said Allard.
Meet Project 529: A bike security software startup led by Xbox co-founder J Allard“If a member’s bike goes missing, they simply tap out a few details and everyone in the 529 community within 10 miles gets an instant alert so they can keep an eye out and report a tip back to the victim if they see something. It’s like neighborhood watch that can help catch a thief before they pedal out of the zip code.”
Bicycle security startup Project 529, led by former Xbox exec J Allard, acquires National Bike Registry“We’re very happy to pass the baton to the team at Project 529 to attack the bicycle theft epidemic,” Eddie Orton, who has sponsored the NBR effort for over two decades, said in a statement. “The passion and capabilities of the team at 529 will be able to take our work to the next level and better serve our customers and partners.”
Granville Island bike thefts Plummet by 70%Granville Island’s Bicycle Valet service parked and monitored over 11,000 bikes between late-June and early-October. Additionally, over 900 bikes were registered with Project 529, a free bike logging service app endorsed by the Vancouver Police Department.
Bike theft on Granville Island reduced dramatically thanks to community efforts“The reduction in bicycle theft over the past two years, and the positive impact our efforts have had on the cycling community,” said Vancouver police constable Rob Brunt, “speak to the success of Granville Island’s program.”
Someone’s Stolen Your Bike. Hope You’ve Done This to help Police get it Back“I think we could make more arrests and recover more bikes with that tool for sure, with the ultimate goal being deterring future bike theft,” Johnson said.
Life gets tougher for bike thieves in Delta, B.C."It puts a lot of power back in the hands of bicycle owners," said Sgt. Sarah Swallow with Delta police.
Bike Theft on the Rise in Venice“The arrests we have made are because the bikes were extremely unique, extremely valuable and the victims had pictures and were very vigilant in giving us the information,” Detective Goddard said. “It is really hard to try to recover these bikes if you do not have that information.”
Parksville Qualicum Beach residents can register bikesPeople registering their bike with 529 Garage, according to Oceanside RCMP, can significantly increase the chance of getting their bicycle returned in the event it is stolen.
Put Your Bike on Lockdown“We’d like to see the numbers drop even more,” says Colleen Cornock, Crime Prevention Supervisor with the City’s Police Services. “It can only work with us continuing to work with the community to keep property safe.”
Bike thefts are down in Kelowna this yearThere have been 115 bikes reported stolen in Kelowna since the start of the calendar year, down 26.8% from the 157 reported stolen in the same period of 2015. “We’d like to see the numbers drop even more,” says Colleen Cornock, the City’s crime prevention supervisor. “It can only work with us continuing to work with the community to keep property safe.”
Bike theft prevention pilot program coming to north campus“Bike theft is an issue that people need to take more seriously, especially as citizens turn to alternate modes of transportation,” said Connie Marciniuk, a community safety liaison with Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Empowerment Team, a partnership between the city, Edmonton Police Service, Family Centre and United Way. “Our goal is to create a climate where cyclists feel more confident that their bikes are safe."
Online registry hopes to reunite owners with their stolen bikes“One of the successes 529 Garage had — and it was a huge success — in Granville Island, they had an 80-some per cent decrease in the number of thefts they had on Granville, which is one of the highest bike theft locations.
VPD Throws A Wrench Into the Spokes of Bike Thieves“Our goal is to make Vancouver the most secure city in Canada to ride a bicycle,” says avid cyclist and VPD Deputy Chief Constable Warren Lemcke. “The 529 Garage registry will allow officers to quickly and efficiently recognize a stolen bicycle and get that bike back to its owner."
ABUS partners with Portland’s Project 529Both companies agree that the key first step in bike security is using the proper lock and using it correctly. The understanding that no lock offers 100-percent protection against a well-equipped thief is the basis for the partnership. Project 529 and its 529 Garage platform pick up where ABUS’s locks leave off, by providing easy bicycle registration and crowdsourced recovery assistance in the event of theft.
529 Garage: Crowd-Connected Bike Security for the Modern RiderStolen bike registries have been around since the early days of the Internet (which explains why so many look like they were designed in 1998) but most offer little more than a registration form and reassuring words. The 529 Garage, however, takes the venerable bike database model and gives it a shot of 21st century technology.
““We have been using 529 Garage for the past year here at LAPD Topanga PAL. The format is super simple and their customer support is fantastic. Bikes registered with 529 garage are immediately visible to other law enforcement agencies and registration can be done easily on the 529 Garage phone app.” Greg Archambault, LAPD Topanga PAL
“Project 529 is one of our most popular programs at ODU. Students, faculty, and staff love the ease of registering their bike on their phone or computer. As an admin of the program, it is incredibly useful and efficient to be able to look up bike information for users who are missing their bike. We have also utilized the property room feature to retain information on the abandoned bikes we have collected on campus. We look forward to continuing our partnership with 529 and advocating for others to use it as well! Megan Gribble ODU Department of Transportation & Parking Services
“Since I became a Certified CAN-BIKE Instructor in 2011, I have taught all my participants about the importance of bike security, including the how, where, and when of locking up a bike securely. When I heard about Project 529, I was excited to get involved! Though I don’t have the reach of a bike shop or the ability to reunite stolen bikes with their owners, I’m happy to add one more layer of protection for my course participants (and anyone else who wants it). Everyone is thrilled to get their bike registered and “Shielded” and I have yet to hear of one of my participants whose bike has been stolen so I think that means we’re doing something right. Thank you for an easy to use system which makes the extra layer of protection go on as easy as a bike glove.
Safer Cycling Calgary
“529 Garage has been a fantastic bike registry program that the Brandon Police Service has recently implemented. We have seen a dramatic drop in bike thefts within the City Of Brandon and we have been able to return numerous bikes that we have seized to their rightful owners. The 529 app is a great tool to register bikes quickly and for front line police officers to search for stolen bikes. I highly recommend this registry to any police agency that is looking for an effective tool to combat bike theft.
Cst. Adam Potter
Brandon Police Service
“529 Garage is lightyears ahead of our old Bicycle registration system from the 80's. While still in its infancy with BRPD, we are seeing the benefits in the public. Local bicycle organizations, such as BIKEBR, Frontyard bike, and others have embraced the new registration with open arms. We look to utilize 529 Garage parish (county) wide in the future.
Sgt. Michael Gauthier
“Two of my bikes were stolen out my garage at around 9am in the morning. By noon that afternoon, an officer working the Downtown Eastside, found one of my bikes and alerted me, through Project 529, that it had been found. Really cool as the email that came contained a picture of the officer and the recovered bike. One's emotions go from feeling violated to elation within a single day. From the picture, I knew that he had found it on Hastings Street. Thank you to everyone who made it happen, including Officer (Lee) who found it, and the volunteers helping people register their bikes.
“Biking is a huge part of my life - I depend heavily on my bike to get to work. I was devastated when my bike was stolen in Vancouver. Thanks to the collaboration between Project 529 and the VPD I was able to recover my stolen bike. I am so grateful to live in a city that has implemented this program and recognizes the importance in recovering stolen bikes. Project 529 has helped to cultivate an environment where people are protected from bike theft and are therefore more encouraged to choose cycling.
“The Vancouver Police Department recovers over 2,000 stolen bikes a year. Locating the victims is a significant challenge. Project 529 supports our ability to pursue criminal charges, serves to prevent future thefts and ultimately assists in reuniting victims with their stolen property.
Chief Constable Adam Palmer
Vancouver Police Dept
“Beginning a partnership with 529 Garage has been one of my biggest highlights of the year. From early planning stages to full roll-out here in Ottawa, the team at 529 have been incredible in terms of vision, support, and encouragement. The passion and drive that J, Donna and the team have for this program is second to none and it spreads to everyone they work with. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with our cycling community, the Ottawa Police, and the Ottawa Safety Council to bring this project to life and I look forward to promoting the program as Project 529 continues to grow across Canada. Other cities warned us that this program would be bigger than anticipated, and they were right! The community loves it and bike shops are lining up to be a part of the project. As a daily cyclist living downtown, I want to kudos Project 529 for bringing a simple, easy to use solution to #endbiketheft. So proud to be a part of this team.
Ottawa Safety Council
“After years of spreadsheet based registration records and ugly stickers that never really stuck, we couldn’t have been more excited to partner with Project 529 to bring this easy to use program to our campus community. Our students love being able to use the phone in their pocket to quickly get their bike registered and our admins love being able to quickly find the information on those bikes and their owners when they need them.
“The cost of bicycle theft is bigger than the loss of the bike. It discourages cycling, invites unsavory people to our campus and ultimately hurts our university’s brand. 529 Garage is a welcome addition to the UO campus.
University of Oregon
“Many years working bike theft in Portland has demonstrated the importance of the community tackling this problem together. Registration has always been the weakest link. If we can help cyclists register their bikes effectively, we will crush bike theft.
Portland Police Bureau
“529 Garage is an awesome match for us. It lets us protect our inventory and rental fleet and helps us get customers in the door. But the real win is helping rescue our customers’ bikes.
Union Street Cycle