In response to several thefts of bicycles in the city, the ALERT Regional Property Crime Unit with assistance from the Medicine Hat Police Service, have deployed a few “bait bikes” within the community. Bait bikes are bicycles equipped with tracking, identification and other technologies which allow officers to follow their movement. Over a short period, the bikes were stolen on four occasions. All four persons responsible for the thefts were quickly arrested and charged with theft under $5,000.
Theft of bicycles continues to be a concern and the ALERT teams and MHPS will continue to target those responsible for committing these crimes as well as other active property offenders. Residents are also encouraged to take steps to safeguard their bikes and other property to reduce the risk of theft. This can include:
- Invest in 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 not in use/overnight, store your bike in a locked garage or shed if possible
- Record the serial number and register your bike at BikeIndex.org.
Bike Index is a non-profit, online bike registry to prove ownership, alert the community if a bike has been stolen, search a found bicycle to identify its owner and help police return recovered bicycles to their rightful owners as soon as possible. Bike Index enables owners to create a free account and in just a few minutes the bike’s distinguishing details can be recorded, including serial number, make, model, and colour. A photo can be added as well as additional details like aftermarket parts. 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. A photo, physical description (make/model/distinguishing characteristics) and serial number are all that are required. 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.
If your bike is stolen, report it to police online at www.mhps.ca, via the MHPS mobile app or by calling 403-529-8481. The bike can also be marked as lost or stolen on Bike Index. When the bike is recovered, the code can be scanned, and the owner will be contacted. If a bike wasn’t registered before it went missing, the owner can still create an account and mark it as stolen.
Sergeant Darren Lole
Regional Property Crime Team
Medicine Hat Police Service