Project 529 works, plus tips to prevent bike theft
Bicycle theft is not a new nuisance for Corvallis. According to Public works of the town of Corvallis, the bike theft occurs once per 30 seconds. In 2016, the Corvallis Police Department collaborated with the Corvallis Town Active Transportation Group and trained Project 529 – a free online bicycle registration system that helps law enforcement find owners of stolen bikes in the area.
“Since the inception of the Project 529 bicycle registration program, over 600 bicycles have been registered regionally,” said Lt. Ryan. Ea ton of DPC mentionned.
Eaton added that in 2020, 282 bicycle thefts were reported to the CPD. Of these, 59 were recovered, or about 21%. As of May 15, 2021, there have been 80 bike thefts and 12 recovered, or about 15%.
The OSU campus, downtown, the Conifer area, and the Springcreek and Creekside apartment complexes are among the most common areas for theft. One of the common problems law enforcement faces with bicycle theft, Eaton said owners are unable to provide a serial number.
Eaton added that there are many other benefits to registering your bike through Project 529, including:Deter thieves by using the Project 529 sticker – stickers are given to bike owners during registration and are placed in a visible location on the bike; and CCommunication with other registry platforms in the region – IIf your bike is stolen and moved to another community, it can be traced back to Corvallis.
Local bike owner Paul Wagoner, an employee of Oregon State University, weighed with The lawyer and his experience with Project 529 – from recording to retrieval – after his bike was stolen at Peavy Hall on April 28. “I have had bikes stolen from Corvallis in the past eight years”, he said, “So when I bought this last bike, I wanted to register it with Campus Security or Corvallis PD.
Wagoner added that registering his bike with Project 529 was straightforward and the app was user-friendly.
“The app is really cool”, Wagoner mentionned. “You add the registration number of the sticker they provide, as well as the serial number of your bike. You can add pictures of the bike, which I did, which helps others identify the bike if it is stolen.
Wagoner noted that on the morning of April 28, he locked his bike with a cable lock when he arrived at work. When he returned for lunch later in the afternoon, he noticed that his bike was no longer where he had left it.
“I saw that the bike was missing and immediately contacted Public Safety to report the theft,” Wagoner said. “I then also used the 529 [Garage] app to let others in the area know that my bike was missing.
Wagoner revealed that his bike was returned about a week after the theft after the bike was impounded due to an unrelated altercation – all thanks to Project 529.
“…[The] key to recovering my bike ”, Wagoner mentionned, “had the bike registered before its flight and had the sticker in a visible location.”
You can register your bike with Project 529 here.
Not all bike locks are created equal
According to Vélo.com, there are four different types of bicycle locks: U-locks, chain locks, folding locks, and lightweight (cable) locks.
Tim Spencer, owner of Bike ‘N’ Hike in downtown Corvallis, gave his opinion on the most effective bike locks on the market.
“From what we’ve seen, a U-lock is probably the best protection against theft, provided it’s used correctly,” Spencer said, adding that Bike ‘N’ Hike sells U locks as good as lock cables, but recommend that you do not use cable locks as the sole locking method except in a low risk area, as they can be easily handled with hand tools. Spencer also suggested chain locks and folding locks, as they are sturdy enough to withstand most hand tools.
Highly recommended brands locks include Kryptonite (especially the “New York” series), Titanker, Sigtuna, and Amaze.
It’s not enough to lock your bike, you have to think like a bike thief
Bike thieves are intentional when choosing a bike to fly, they want to be quick and efficient with what they take. They use all the tools they have – hacksaws, crowbars, jacks, even their bare hands. The worst thing bicycle owners can do is create an easier environment for thieves.
According to Oregon State University (OSUTS) Transportation Services, errors Bicycle owners do when closing their bikes:
- Locking bikes around the seat
- Locking bikes around a pole
- Leave bikes unlocked, even momentarily
- Locking bikes around the wheel
OSUTS too recommended lock your bike to the frame and wheels, and take the saddle, lights and helmet with you.
By: Rebekah Harcrow