By MO CRANKER on September 12, 2020.
The Medicine Hat Police Service is creating an index to help track bicycles that may go missing around town.
“This is a free online bike registration system that is used across North America,” said Insp. Brent Secondiak. “This is a program where people can register their bikes online. You take pictures of it and all of the distinguishing characteristics. We’ve purchased 5,000 stickers for bikes that link with a QR code.
“If your bike gets stolen, the bike index will send out information to the community and to the police.
“If the police finds a bike with an index sticker on it, we can scan it and message the owner of the bicycle.”
Secondiak says this program is being used in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge and has seen success in North America.
“We hope to see it continue its success in Medicine Hat,” he said. “Stolen bikes are an issue here. We get about 150-200 reported stolen bikes every year. But we know that number is higher.”
Secondiak says the city has had “chop shops” in the past, but usually bike theft is a crime of opportunity.
“The thief will see that they have an opening to take a bike, and they take it,” he said. “More often than not we’ll recover bikes in tattered and ruined conditions.”
The MHPS sees bikes of all kinds stolen throughout the year.
“Any bike can be a target,” he said. “There’s a myriad of makes, models, sizes, body types that we have at the station. Anything that can be stolen and isn’t secured can be stolen.”
Stickers will be available at various places around the city, such as Cyclepath and Gravity Sports.
The MHPS is inviting people down to its headquarters Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help guide them through registration.
Stickers will be available at the MHPS front desk in the future.
For more information on the bike index go to http://www.mhps.ca