14 independent bike shops team up to tackle bike theft

Local bike shops in Edmonton, Alberta are working with Bike Index to tackle bicycle theft in the Canadian locale.

Edmonton will use Bike Index via the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and 14 local bike shops, bringing together a community of cyclists in the city and surrounding areas to try and curb levels of bike theft.

Close collaboration between the Police Service, bike shops and cycle community has already resulted in a high stolen bike recovery rate in Edmonton and it is hoped the Bike Index relationship will boost the recovery rate further.

“The support we have received within EPS and Edmonton’s cycling community shows how important this initiative is,” said Constable Kenny McKinnon. “We are proud to lead our city into a future that will hopefully see a noticeable decrease in bike theft and we want to thank Bike Index for partnering with us to make it happen.”

Registration at point of sale

Edmonton bike shop employees can register customer bikes at the point of sale, either through Bike Index’s automatic registration integrations with Lightspeed or Ascend or with simple bike entry tools. Members of the public will be able to pick up a free QR sticker and registration pamphlet at any EPS Division. Constables from EPS will also work to educate the community and organisations on how to find their serial numbers and register their bikes.

Bike Index estimates it has recovered over $8.8 million in stolen bicycles.

“The last few years we’ve had a ton of grassroots support in Edmonton,” said Bike Index Executive Director, Craig Dalton. “This has led to numerous stolen bike recoveries by adding official support from EPD and local bike shops, we have the opportunity to radically alter the stolen bike problem in Edmonton.”

A handful of Bike Index ambassadors in the area have used their Facebook group, in conjunction with the police service and Bike Index, to recover over 1,000 bikes.

Using Bike Index, Edmonton Police officers will be able to message registrants directly when out in the field. When an officer finds a bike, they can use their smartphone devices to scan bikes with Edmonton-branded QR stickers. Law enforcement can even message Bike Index users before they report their bike as stolen (for instance if it’s stolen while they are at work and they don’t yet know it’s missing). This allows EPS to return bikes to their owners as quickly as possible.

Participating shops include:

Mec (2 locations)
Revolution Cycle
Mud Sweat and Gears
Element Cycling
Red Bike
Pedal Head
Sports Shack
Sports Check
Cycle Logic
Renu Cycle

Bike theft is a global issue affecting the cycling industry. In the UK, the political establishment have a focus on bike theft and what the industry is doing to help tackle it – TfL Cycling Commissioner Will Norman has some choice words on the quality of some of the locks available at retail in our chat with him in our latest Podcast. Bike theft has also been the subject of APPCG meetings in Westminster. Meanwhile, theft of bikes from retailers is a persistent problem which in extreme cases forces shops to close. This initiative in Edmonton could show the way for other communities to work together to try and tackle the issue.