Project 529 and the National Bike Registry have joined forces to fight bike theft, creating the most comprehensive and advanced online bike registry in North America. This merger provides law enforcement, universities, bike shops, and cyclists better tools to engage in the recovery of stolen bikes.
The National Bike Registry was created in 1984, pioneering the idea of a bicycle database to aid law enforcement identify and recover stolen bicycles. It has been used by over 2,000 law enforcement agencies and has resulting in the return of hundreds of bikes to their rightful owners.
Project 529 was started in 2013 as an extension of this same idea. Users can register as many bikes as they want for free, including photos, components, accessories, and any other information that would be helpful in identification of a stolen bicycle. This cloud-based, community-oriented information sharing service also offers an app, so that in the event of a bike theft, users can conveniently alert other Project 529 users and law enforcement from their smartphones, and also broadcast a message over their social media sites to keep an eye out for the stolen property.
The service offers a printable flyer that is generated for your specific bike if you report it as stolen. You can also purchase an optional Project 529 shield with a unique ID number, which offers additional identifying features in case your bike goes missing, and also may deter theft.
“Bicycle theft has been an under-served problem for decades that has grown to epidemic proportions,” says J Allard, CEO of Project 529. “After losing a bike to theft 4 years ago, I was moved to build better tools for law enforcement and the cycling community to attack this problem.”
The combination the National Bike Registry and Project 529 means that over 400,000 bike records will be easily accessible by law enforcement, and all current users of the National Bike Registry will also have access to the additional features of Project 529 at no charge. Currently, this service is available to all North American cyclists.
“We’re very happy to pass the baton to the team at Project 529 to attack the bicycle theft epidemic,” said Eddie Orton, who has sponsored the NBR effort for over 2 decades. “The passion and capabilities of the team at 529 will be able to take our work to the next level and better serve our customers and partners.”
For more information and to register your bikes, check out the Project 529 website.Tweet Print
Both companies agree that the key first step in bike security is using the proper lock and using it correctly. The understanding that no lock offers 100-percent protection against a well-equipped thief is the basis for the partnership. Project 529 and its 529 Garage platform pick up where ABUS’s locks leave off, by providing easy bicycle registration and crowdsourced recovery assistance in the event of theft.
Statistics indicate that a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in the United States and fewer than 10 percent of recovered bicycles are ever returned to their owners. By encouraging the use of high-quality, high-security locks—and teaching owners how to use them properly—the goal is to prevent theft before it happens.
The 529 Garage allows riders to easily and securely register their bikes and provides the capacity to broadcast a “Missing Bike Bulletin” to the 529 community and social networks that includes images and details that will enable cyclists and law enforcement to identify and recover the stolen bike. Additionally, the 529 Garage generates a detailed report that can be provided to the police and the victim’s insurance company to maximize and expedite claims and the ability for law enforcement to check against a national database of missing bikes.
“Our goal is to make the best locks in the world,” said ABUS Marketing Manager Joan Hanscom. “Our locks are engineered and produced in our own factories to incredibly demanding quality standards that we set – standards that meet and exceed many of the most widely recognized testing standards employed globally. But even then—whether it be due to human error or the use of power tools—bikes still get stolen. By partnering with Project 529 we are delivering a more comprehensive security solution to cyclists and we are thrilled to be working with them.”
The ABUS and Project 529 partnership will launch on the ground in Portland and online nationally this month. This season, a security “bundle” will roll out with select Portland independent bicycle dealers that will include a high-security ABUS lock and a 529 Garage registration kit. The partnership extends further into cyclist education and new product development efforts. Recently, J Allard was appointed to the newly formed Portland Police Bike Theft Task Force by Portland Chief of Police Larry O’Dea to help attack the growing frustration with bike theft in Portland.
“This partnership represents the marriage of simplicity and security backed by world-class engineering,” said J. Allard, founder of Project 529. “Bike theft is an epidemic, and the solution lies in industry cooperation and community engagement. We’re excited to partner with ABUS and the bike shop community to bring new thinking and new solutions to this difficult problem.”Tweet Print