The FBI reports while many types of property theft have decreased, bike theft is on the rise. Every 30 seconds, a bicycle is stolen in the U.S., which is thousands of bikes a day and millions a year. While we all think “it will never happen to me,” experienced thieves only need 10 to 20 seconds to break any bike lock, and bike thieves are harder for police to apprehend because they usually have no prior relationship with their victims.
Recovering a bicycle used to seem like a lost cause until Florida police agencies and the National Bike Registry started bike registration programs. Annually, police find close to half of all stolen bikes. Unfortunately, only 56% of bicycles are reported stolen, so police previously had a hard time finding the bike’s rightful owner. All over Florida, police departments now have free bike registration programs available. All you have to do to register is provide your bike’s physical description and serial number.
The serial number can usually be found under the seat or head tube, on the back wheel mount, or under the bottom bracket. If you bought your bike from a local shop, you can usually call and get your bike’s registration number. If your bike goes missing, call the agency where you registered, report it, and they might already have the bike at the station.
If your city or county doesn’t have a registration program, the National Bike Registry (NBR) will let you register your bike for $1 a year. If your bike is stolen, NBR has an online database you can search to see if it’s been reported as found. Things happen fast, so register your bike today while it is fresh on your mind.