South Vancouver Community Policing Centre handing out engravers to bike owners

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Bicycles are stolen in the southwest portion of Vancouver and the downtown core more than anywhere else in the city, says a report from the Vancouver Police Department.

As a result, the South Vancouver Community Policing Centre has started the Property Engravement Program.

The program is designed to help prevent thefts and provide a means of easy identification of stolen or lost property by allowing citizens to engrave their property, including bicycles.

Photo by Ryan Banagan
Bicycle racks at the front of Langara College, most of which are secured with bike locks. Thefts of bicycles reported for the first half of 2012 almost doubled from last year.

Police suggest tips for engraving

“Usually we recommend that people engrave their driver’s license number on the bike,” said Constable Andrew Pang, Saturday at their annual Community Policing Day.

A driver’s license number is suggested because police can run the number through their computer system and locate the owner quickly.

Police also advise owners record the serial number of their bicycle for their own records.

The hope is that easier police identification will discourage thieves from taking items that once couldn’t be identified by ownership, said Pang.

Bike thefts up from last year

Whether or not the program is working is still in question.

“We haven’t seen too much success with the program yet, but then again it hasn’t been around for long,” Pang added.

Between Jan. 1 and May 31 of this year, 554 bikes were reported stolen, compared to 338 in the same period last year.

An overwhelming majority of the thefts were bicycles reported stolen from bike racks.

Secure your bicycle on balconies and streets

There have also been reports of burglars scaling apartment balconies and fire escapes to steal bikes, throwing them down to the ground before riding off.

Police suggest locking your bicycle in public places where there is more of a chance someone will see the bike being stolen and react.

Engravers are loaned out free to the public for one week with a refundable deposit of $20.

For more information contact the SVCPC.

Reported by Ryan Banagan

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