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Here’s how to protect your bike from getting stolen in Ottawa

Stolen bikes

While hundreds of stolen bikes are recovered per year by Ottawa police, very little information about whom they belong to is available.

The Ottawa Police Service says information is key to retrieve and return the stolen bike to its owner. Police add there’s an application called “529 garage” to register and add information.

“By registering your bike, the information is available to us to help get your bike back to you if it's found. It's easy to register. Simply download the app from Apple or Google, input your information, and even upload an image of your bike. This service is free,” Ottawa police say on their website.

The city’s police service shares some other information to avoid getting your bike stolen:

• Store your bicycle in a locked garage -- if available -- and avoid locking it on the front porch or at the side of your house.

• If you live in a high-rise apartment, store it in the designated secured area.

• Use easy-to-see bike racks, not concealed by landscaping or structures and properly anchored.

• Invest in a proper bike lock, such as a U-Lock.

• Consider locking your bike on your car rack if you plan to leave it unattended When transporting.

• If you're buying a used bike, ask the seller to meet in a public place and to provide the serial number on 529 Garage. 

• And in the worst case scenario where the bike gets stolen, don’t forget to file a report online. 

In 2023, Ottawa police recovered 56 stolen bikes from the ByWard Market area, valued at approximately $71,050.

Police say about 1,000 bicycles are stolen city-wide every year. Between 2016 and 2021, over 5,000 bikes were stolen, worth an estimated value of $3.3 million.

"During the pandemic, Ottawa has seen a record number of bike thefts, driven by their increasing value and unmatched versatility," said acting staff Sgt. Evan Hung, who led the OPS bike initiative.

"Social media platforms, including Facebook and specialized platforms like 529 Garage, have proven to be an asset for law enforcement and bike owners."

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s William Eltherington Top Stories

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