Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) on May 30th, 2013 at 2:54 pm
Across the river in Vancouver, police, a bike shop and a local bike advocate sat down over beers and came up with a smart, simple, free program to help recover stolen bikes.
Here’s how it works, starting this month: When you buy a frame from Bad Monkey Bikes in Vancouver’s Uptown Village area, Bad Monkey enters your bike’s serial number and contact info in their database and applies a special “Monkey Shield” sticker to show that it’s done so.
“When the police or C-Tran or any department recovers a bicycle and it has that Bad Monkey sticker, then they know it’s registered and know to call me,” shop manager Wade Leckie said Thursday.
Not only is this a way to help respond to bike theft, which is going strong this year (and if you haven’t seen it, here’s BikePortland’s quick guide to preventing and responding to theft), it’s a nice example of a simple service a local shop can offer that web-based competitors can’t.
Leckie said he’s rigged the system into his shop’s Quickbooks point of sale software, entering the bike’s serial number in place of an “alternate phone” so he can search by serial number.
The concept is the brainchild of Vancouver Police Department Cpl. Drew Russell, Leckie and Eric Giacchino of education and advocacy group Bike Clark County (a group that’s all the more committed to helping bike theft victims after it was hit by a major theft last year itself).