Red Deer’s 18-month-old bike registry program has helped drive thefts down sharply this year.
From January to August, the number of bike thefts in the city was down 36 per cent, compared with the same eight-month period in 2019.
One of the reasons for the decrease is the 529 Garage Bike Registry launched in Red Deer in June 2019, says Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre spokeswoman Janise Somer.
Bike owners can use the program to register their bike and affix a sticker showing that it’s been registered.
“The value of these coded, 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.”
Since launching, the program has returned eight stolen bicycles back to their rightful owners.
Project 529 co-ordinators believe that number is under-counted, because many times, people whose bike has been recovered forget to log that information back into the app.
There are more than 1,100 bikes registered in Red Deer with 529 Garage, the largest bike registry in the world, and over 88 per cent of those bikes are shielded through the free program.
“We hope to see enrolment continue to climb, as we believe that as more bikes are registered, this will be a greater deterrent to bike theft,” says Somer.
The decals are available from the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre’s office for $5, or from Amazon.ca for $12.99 each.
Registration is free, and if your bike is stolen, you can send out an alert to the 529 Garage community to be on the lookout.
For more information about registering your bike, visit www.project529.com/reddeer or contact the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre at 403-986-9904.