New San Francisco Bike Registry Designed to Reduce Bike Theft

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Bike theft is big in San Francisco. An average of 11 bikes per day are cut, clipped or stripped for parts in our city. Bike theft outnumbers iPhone theft 3:1 and an estimated $4.6 million in property loss from bike theft.

Until recently, even if your bike was found, there was little chance of getting it back. With no centralized database of San Francisco serial numbers, it was difficult for recovered bikes to get back to their rightful owners. Without a database, it was difficult to prove the bike was yours, and police had little recourse in breaking up bike chop shops because they couldn’t prove the bikes were stolen.

Thanks to a new program all of that is about to change.

San Francisco's Main Library is known as a bike theft hot-spot. New bike registration will hopefully deter theft and help you get your bike back.

San Francisco’s Main Library is known as a bike theft hot-spot. New bike registration will hopefully deter theft and help you get your bike back.

SAFE, the nonprofit group for the SF Police Department, just launched a voluntary bike registration for San Francisco. The SF Bicycle Coalition is pleased to be a partner in the new SAFE BIKES, which we hope will deter theft and help ensure you get your bike back if it is found.

Here’s how it works:

1)     Head to safebikes.org’s Registration Page

2)     Locate your bike’s serial number

3)     Upload a photo of your bike

4)     Upload a copy of the receipt if possible or fill out as many details as possible

Working on this registration program is just one of the ways the SF Bicycle Coalition is working to reduce bike theft. In the last few years, we’ve passed crucial legislation that lets you bring your bike in the office, requires all new buildings to offer secure bike parking, worked with BART to get more secure bike parking and taught thousands how to safely lock their rides.

While this new registration program will help, the best defense against theft is locking your bike well. We recommend using a hardened-steel U-lock and locking skewers for your wheels. Even then, you should avoid leaving your bike unattended in public for too long. To learn more about how to securely lock your bike and what to do if it’s stolen, visit sfbike.org/theft. And if you see a bike theft in progress, call 911 and report it.

Want to learn more about preventing bike theft? COME TO THE MARCH 13 workshop.

Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.