Bike Index registry busting crime: Stolen Edmonton wheels recovered in Vancouver within days


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A 13-year-old girl’s specialized mountain bike was recovered in Vancouver days after it was stolen in Edmonton thanks to a city police partnership with a bicycle registry service.

The girl’s bike was reported stolen April 14 after a garage break and enter. The teen’s mother registered the bicycle on Bike Index, days after it had been stolen.

Registering the bicycle then led to officers from the Vancouver Police Department identifying it on April 24, said an Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Tuesday news release.

Vancouver Police members were able to make the recovery following an encounter with a bike rider, which included a search on that city’s own bicycle registry, Garage 529.

“Garage 529 and Bike Index have cross-search functionality on their databases to better combat bike theft, and this technology has proven its worth,”  said Edmonton city police Det. Dana Gehring in the release. “Bike thefts are a huge problem in all major cities, and this incident shows the cooperation between our two agencies as well as the effectiveness of these bike registries and recovery programs.”

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Reuniting the recovered bicycle was a little more difficult, thanks to the shipping distance and COVID-19 restrictions. But when Specialized Canada learned of the case, the bike company offered to cover the shipping cost from Vancouver to Edmonton. Vancouver’s Reckless Cycle also stepped up to make any necessary repairs to the bike, including a tune up.

“The mother told us her daughter was in shock at this great news and they are surprised of the efforts and kindness that were going into getting the bike to them,” added Gehring.

Reckless Cycle’s owner, Paul Dragan, through a statement to the Edmonton police, said tackling bike theft is a community effort. “I am proud to support these initiatives and do my part.”

Since Edmonton city police partnered with Bike Index, over 78,000 bicycles have been registered in the municipal area.

EPS will be holding multiple outdoor public registration events over the summer and invite citizens to visit with their bikes to get signed up. The next registration event is set for June 26, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the pedestrian bridge beside Walterdale Bridge.