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Bike theft awareness campaign

Posted by on December 11th, 2005 at 10:43 pm

The Southeast Precinct of the Portland Police Bureau have started a bike theft awareness campaign.

Officers have been standing on the Hawthorne Bridge in the early morning and passing out forms for cyclists to fill out and return to them. According to one cyclist, who was stopped last Tuesday at 6:30 AM, the form asks for your driver’s license number, name, address, phone number and date of birth. It also asks for a thorough description of your bicycle including the approximate value and serial number.

The form also contain this message:

“That we may better assist you in locating your bicycle, should you ever have the unfortunate experience of being the victim of theft, please take the time to fill out this information sheet and put it with your personal files at home.”

I was surprised to hear about this because there was no mention of it when bike theft was discussed at a recent open house forum with the LDTMA and Northeast precinct officers. Bike theft is a huge and growing problem in Portland and so far I haven’t heard of any solid solutions from law enforcement so I’m anxious to learn more about this campaign. I’ve got emails and calls into the police bureau and I’ll keep you posted.

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Comments
  • Justa December 11, 2005 at 11:42 pm

    i don’t know if i’d be cool with me “driver’s license number, name, address, phone number and date of birth”. maybe my name, phone number, and a detailed description of my bike, but that’s it.

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  • josh m December 12, 2005 at 1:38 am

    the problem w/ just your name number and your bike description doesn’t say much.
    What do you honestly think the police are going to do with the information other than try to get your bike back? i doubt it’s some black helocopters conspiracy.

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  • Rithy December 12, 2005 at 2:13 am

    In Denmark you have to report your bicycle to the police. Its just like a car so if it is stolen, insurance can see that it is missing and you can claim it on insurance. My friend had 3 bicycles stolen in the last 3 years and insurance has covered him. So I wouldn’t mind having my bicycle information taken down into a database.

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  • dayaram December 12, 2005 at 11:23 am

    of course you don’t have to give them the information unless the bike is stolen. Personally I’d like to have a copy of this “report” form can you post it on line?
    dayaram

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  • Matt December 12, 2005 at 1:37 pm

    I have a copy here. Jonathan, I could FAX it to you.

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  • Aaron December 12, 2005 at 5:52 pm

    What if you don’t have a driver’s license.

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  • Cate December 12, 2005 at 6:42 pm

    What if you don’t live in SE?

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  • josh m December 13, 2005 at 12:14 am

    aaron – do you have a state id? That number is your license number.
    if you don’t have state id.. well, id on’t know how you get by.

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  • beth h December 14, 2005 at 8:19 am

    While I’d love to think that the police were actually doing something positive to help reduce bike theft and to make it more likely that a stolen bike would be recovered, I’m dubious that this will accomplish either goal.
    Recovering stolen bikes is based mostly on luck and pluck.
    As a licensed secondhand dealer for over a decade, I fill out police tags every day on used bikes my shop buys from folks who walk in off the street. Those forms are sent to an overworked, understaffed police property room where the lag time between receipt of form and entering it into the system can be as much as two weeks.
    When stolen bikes are reported to the police, they almost never come out to inspect the theft scene; instead, they’ll mail you a form and ask you to fill it out and send it in. Meanwhile, in the time it takes to deal with the paperwork, your bike has been chopped up and the parts sold all over hither and yon.
    There is already a National Bike Registry (google it, you can register online) that takes all this information.
    Anything the police could do to gather this info “in the interests of bike security” can only be redundant, or serve another purpose entirely. If I’m ever asked to fill out such a form I will refuse.

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  • Ken LeGros January 27, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    My bike was recently stolen from the park block at PSU. It was reported to the campus police and they in turn reported it to the Portland Police. All they require is the serial # of the bike, description and how to get in touch with you if they happen to recover it. No drivers lic. required, no bike registration with the city required. So forget the forms and any other revenue generating paperwork you may think you need to do. You just need to know your bike serial # and a full description. A photo really helps too.

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