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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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New online platform unites ‘bike-minded’ people

An online platform looking to reunite stolen bikes and their owners in the national capital has launched, thanks to a partnership between Crime Stoppers and ACT Policing.

Bikelinc hopes to address the 25% increase in bike thefts in the ACT since 2017, by allowing the public to create a free profile on the website while linking their bike to it.

Crime Stoppers ACT chair Diana Forrester said the website would not only help police reunite lost bikes with their owners but instil confidence in the public when purchasing one second hand.

Bikelinc will be a game changer for the reduction of bike theft in the ACT, allowing a community of bike-minded people and ACT Policing to make a significant difference in tackling this problem,” she said.

“We have a large and enthusiastic biking community in Canberra, many with very sophisticated, expensive bikes which will be safer if they are registered with Bikelinc.

“Anyone purchasing a bike will be able to use Bikelinc to review thousands of records in real-time by simply entering a serial number to determine if a bike has been reported lost or stolen.”

The platform is also open to retailers who can transfer bikes straight to the customer at the time of purchase.

Pushys bike store owner, Shane Wolki, shared his support for the website, describing it as a fantastic idea for the Canberra region.

“So many bikes look the same it’s hard to make a distinction, but they have a unique serial number,” he said.

“It doesn’t help us hugely, but it definitely adds value to the customer. It would maybe help us if we were broken into and had bikes stolen which probably happens once a year.”

Mr Wolki said it was something Pushys would look to promote to their customers as bikes were being purchased.

“[Bike theft] is a big issue, we get asked by customers around 100-200 times a year if we have a serial number for a bike they have brought from us previously after it has been stolen,” he said.

The platform first launched in WA late last year, with 1,200 bike users and more than 15,000 bikes listed on the site. More than 30 bikes have been reunited with their owners since the launch.

During 2019 in the ACT, 787 bikes were reported stolen with ACT Policing’s Officer in Charge of Community Safety, Detective Inspector Mark Rowswell, saying the force was successful in locating stolen bikes but struggled to find their owners.

“Stolen bikes we have recovered often fail to make their way back to the original owner because they cannot be accurately identified,” he said.

“In the past 12 months, only 18 of the 204 bikes in the ACT Policing Exhibit Management Centrehave been returned to their rightful owner, with another 24 returned to the person who found the bike. The remaining were either sold or destroyed.”

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