Online platform puts a spoke in bike thieves’ wheels
With annual bicycle sales sitting at $1.2 million, COVID-19 has seen the demand for bikes surge by 60 per cent compared to 2019, as more people cycle to move around safely in the pandemic as well as seeking a safe form of family exercise.
On Wednesday Crime Stoppers announced it is partnering with BikeVault and Bicycle NSW to help reduce theft and increase the chances of stolen bikes being recovered.
Founded in 2015, BikeVault is a national online bike platform offering a free community service where bike owners can store their bike's details, if it's stolen and recovered, the bike can be tracked and returned to the owner.
NSW Crime Stoppers, chief executive Peter Price AM said he wants to encourage all bike owners to use this free service.
"It increases its identification to deter thieves and make it easier to recover," he said.
"If you are thinking of buying a bike check online before you purchase a bike to ensure it isn't stolen and please report stolen bikes."
Combining the forces of industry, Crime Stoppers works with the Police, bike owners and the wider community to expose and defeat the illicit trade in stolen bikes.
Also, when buying a used bike, you can check its chain of custody to see if the bike you want is stolen property.
A key element of bike recovery is the online community which helps bring awareness to the stolen bikes by having spotters who trawl for and report stolen bikes found for sale online and at less reputable retail premises.
A resident from Westmead, Dave, had his bike stolen from a locker whereby the thief used a crowbar to break it free.
"I entered my bike's details on BikeVault and the police portal," he said.
"Several weeks later, someone saw my bike for sale, realised it was stolen and reported it.
"Thanks to the police and the online community I managed to get my bike back."
More information at BikeVault.