On April 24, 2021 the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) responded to a report of an unknown male who entered a yard in the 100 block of Cooney Road SE at 12:30 PM and stole a child’s bike. A neighbor in the area was able to capture video of the suspect leaving the area on the bike. The bike is from an unknown manufacturer but it is described as black with bright orange rims. While the responding officer was unable to locate the suspect or the bike, he did purchase the young boy a new bike from a garage sale as he felt terrible for this family who had recently moved to Medicine Hat and knew they were struggling financially.
On average, each year the MHPS will receive 150 reports of bikes stolen, with only 15-20 of those returned to the owner. However as the total number of recovered bikes each year is often in excess of 200, this would suggest thefts are under reported. As a reminder, thefts can be reported via the MHPS website (mhps.ca) or mobile app or by calling the non-emergency line at 403-529-8481.
Additionally the MHPS encourages cyclists to register their bikes with Bike Index. Bike Index is a non-profit, online bike registry that allows owners to create a free account at BikeIndex.org and in just a few minutes register their bike including the details such as; serial number, make, model, and colour. A photo can be added as well as additional details like aftermarket parts and other distinguishing features. Thru the same site an owner can alert the community if their bike has been stolen, search for a found bicycle to identify its owner and help police return recovered bicycles to their rightful owners as soon as possible.
Once a bike is registered a Bike Index sticker, each with a unique code can be picked up at the MHPS or by attending Gravity Sports or CyclePath bike shops in Medicine Hat. Owners can scan the sticker’s code with a smartphone camera and link to their bike. Bike Index stickers are made of a strong, weather-resistant material and are extremely difficult to remove. They help serve as a deterrent for potential bike thieves by showing the bike is being watched by the entire community and the owner can be identified by simply scanning the code.
In addition to registering with Bike Index, citizens are also reminded to safeguard their bikes by taking steps to help reduce the risk of theft. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of theft, police advise cyclists to always use a good lock – a U-lock is recommended. Lock your wheels and frame together, use a designated bike rack as sign poles, trees, fences, etc. are not as secure, lock bikes in well-lit, well-traveled areas, when possible do not leave a locked bike on a public street overnight and at home secure your bike – locked up if possible – in a locked garage or shed.
Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is asked to contact the MHPS at 403-529-8481 to tips may also be submitted (anonymously if preferred) thru the MHPS website (mhps.ca) or MHPS Mobile App. The app is free and available to download for both Apple and Android devices by searching ‘Medicine Hat Police Service’ on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Found bikes are held by the MHPS for a minimum of 60 days before being sent to auction. In light of the current health restrictions instead of holding an annual bike auction, the MHPS has been sending approximately 25 bikes per month to be auctioned online by Gateway Auction Services on the third Saturday of the month. For more information on upcoming sales or to bid online visit www.gwacountry.com.
Inspector Brent Secondiak
Operational Services Division
Medicine Hat Police Service