When thousands of bikes are stolen in Vancouver every year, getting back your missing bike sounds like a fairy tale.
Believe it or not, the 529 Project supported by the Vancouver Police makes it a reality. Two bikes registered with the help of the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Center were stolen, located in the Downtown Eastside and returned to their rightful owners in July alone.
The Hastings Sunrise CPC joined the project in 2015. Since then, every Saturday from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. people can bring their bikes to the office at 2620 East Hastings St., receive a unique sticker called a shield for their two-wheeled friend and get it registered within the VPD database. Whenever the police find a bike with the shield, they can easily check if it was stolen or not and hand it over to the owner.
“Registration is superfast and will not take you longer than five minutes,” Shannon Seiler, program leader at the HSCPC, says. “What’s even more important, it is absolutely free, while bike stores charge customers for the shields,” she adds.
The number of bikes registered at the HSCPC soared from 117 in 2015 to 795 in 2016 and the community policing centre plans to break this record in 2017 so that every owner could track his or her bike.
■ Olga Shaporenko