As bike riders, we are all concerned about keeping our bikes secure. One terrific way to deter theft is to register your bike to deter thieves and to help police to return your bike if it’s ever recovered.VicPD has recently decided to switch over from their current register to 529 Garage. For riders who have registered bikes with the VicPD, you will need to re-register your bikes with Project529.
What is 529 Garage?
529 Garage is widely used across Canada and the US and it provides an excellent app and a website to make registration easy. Beyond ease of use, the ability to store more information about your bikes (in your 529 Garage) like photos and receipts. 529 Garage can be also be used to check if a bike you are buying is stolen, can be used to report thefts and can report found bikes. And because Project 529 is widely used across BC and elsewhere, stolen bikes can be tracked and recovered outside of the CRD.
Project 529 registration is free of charge and you can also purchase registration stickers for a nominal fee that you can use to show your bike is registered. They will help to deter theft and to help recover stolen bikes (over 20% of stolen bikes are recovered). The City of Vancouver found that registration with Project 529 helped to reduce thefts by 40% over a period of several years. Some owners will also engrave a personal identifier on their bike frame and selected parts in a less visible location.
Keep your bill of sale when you purchase a bike, record the serial number, and take lots of photos including the bike (which you can save on your phone as a contact or by selecting the photos as favourites), the serial number (usually under the bottom bracket), and of you with your bike to help establish ownership. Project 529 can store detailed information about your bike as well and it can be accessed from their smartphone app. Ownership information is used when registering your bike with Project 529 and other programs. A surprising percentage of bikes that are stolen are not registered and the owners often cannot prove ownership, so it’s an easy and inexpensive step.
To register your precious bikes, please download the Project 529 app (iPhone and Android) or visit https://project529.com/garage
Statement from VicPD
“Please be aware that the Victoria Police Department will be phasing out the VICPD Bicycle Registry by June 30, 2021. The Victoria Police Department will no longer be registering bicycles and instead will be endorsing and utilizing the online Bicycle Registration Program, Project 529. https://project529.com/garage
Until June 30, 2021 both the VICPD bike registry and Project 529 will be utilized to contact owners of bicycles that VICPD recover. After June 30, 2021, only the Project 529 site will be utilized as the VICPD registry and all data in it will be deleted and not be searchable. The Victoria Police Department will be utilizing Project 529 to better deter bicycle theft and increase our ability to recover stolen bicycles.
It will be up to bike owners to re-register their bicycles with Project 529, if they wish to do so, as the Victoria Police Department will not share your personal information. Project 529 is not a VICPD program and any personal information collected is via the service offered by Project 529. To register with Project 529, only an email address is required. Bike owners can also just record their own bicycle details including photos, and if they want police assistance in recovering their stolen bicycles, it is essential to make a police report.
Project 529 is a free registration tool that offers many benefits including the ability to upload photos, bicycles can be searched by the general public, so they do not buy a stolen bicycle, and offers the ability to put out alerts to those in the area of recently stolen bicycles. If you wish to get a unique “shield” for your bicycle or assistance in registering your bicycle, you can contact one of the registration station locations found on the Project 529 website under the “shield” tab. Please contact the business prior to showing up for a shield as they may have limited stock.
If you have any questions about this, please contact Cst. Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org”