Davis Police Offering Free Bike Registration
We all like free things, but this time the free thing isn’t something you’d normally think of. But you could be really glad you did. The Davis Police Department is offering a free bicycle registration for all Davis bicycle owners.
Each year, there are around 1.5 million bikes stolen in the U.S., and the number one spot for bike thieves is a college campus. At UC Davis, an average of 448 bikes are stolen each year which is slightly above the amount for the city of Davis at 344.
Returning Stolen BIkes
However, bikes are often recovered, and when they are, if the owner has registered their bike with some registration entity, then they stand a good chance to get their bike back. Davis Police say that they recover on average 30 to 40 bikes a year between Davis and UC Davis.
In many cases, they will uncover a ring and get a batch of bikes and will invite students to come and identify their bikes. If the student has no documentation, serial number, or receipt for the bike, then they have to wait and put in a claim for the bike which could take time and even be denied.
In 2015, UC Davis and Dixon police teamed up and uncovered a stolen bike operation and recovered a box van with 31 bikes inside. They then tried to get the bikes reunited with their owners which proved to be difficult. It’s great recovering the bikes, but if the original owner isn’t known, then it seems justice isn’t fully done.
Register Your Bike
The problem is, without some sort of documentation or evidence, the bikes go unclaimed as tracking down the owner is next to impossible. Then if an owner recognizes their bike, they still have to have something more than just the owner’s say so.
Davis’ registration program allows Davis and UC Davis residents to log onto the Davis Police’s website and register their bike. This will also report the bike’s ownership information to the California Automated Property System which is a database that is used to get stolen property back to the owner.
There is no cost to use the system. The state of California actually requires bike owners to get a license to rider their bike which costs $12 and $6 for yearly renewals. The program was started years ago to encourage the return of the stolen property, but most cyclists don’t get a license and it’s hardly ever enforced.
The Davis Police are hoping this free service will encourage people to do what the license program hasn’t and that is get people to register their bikes. So maybe this will help Davis police get their recovered bikes back to their rightful owners.