Register Your Bike Before It Gets Stolen

“When your bike gets stolen, just calling the police won’t help,” bike owner Jason McDowell tells OnMilwaukee. But if you register your bike and write down its serial number, you can alert the community and local bike shops when your bike is missing. This makes it harder for a thief to sell your bike and makes it easier for you to get it back.

McDowell lists all the obvious steps to keep your bike safe: write down your serial number, use secure locks, don’t leave your bike overnight, and so on. Two tips stand out:

Take a picture of your bike

A Milwaukee cop tells McDowell that if the police know what your bike looks like, they have a “probable reason” to stop riders on bikes like them. But photographs are not always enough for the police to return your bike. To do this, you need identifying information such as a serial number. So take a picture of that too.

Register your bike

In several cities, including Milwaukee , Chicago, and New York, you can register your bike with the Police Department. Elsewhere, you can use a free community registration service like Bike Index or 529 Garage .

Some registrations come with a sticker that you can put on your bike, which gives you a different identification number, and might even leave a VALID mark if a thief tries to remove it. But even without the sticker, if you officially register your serial number with the cycling community, many Craigslist stores and shoppers will recognize your bike if someone tries to sell it.

None of this guarantees that you will return your bike. But that makes him less hopeless. So take these photos, write down the serial number and register your bike.

What To Do Before Someone Steals Your Bike (And How To Get It Back If This Happens) | OnMilwaukee


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