The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is warning residents to take extra precautions to secure their bikes from thefts and register with 529 Garage.
In 2020, we have received 83 bike theft reports to-date, compared to 42 at this time last year. This is due, in part, to: an increase in a series of reported break-ins at highrise apartment buildings and garages across the city; and crimes of opportunity as the temperature rises and people start to go outside more. We have also observed there has generally been a steady increase in reports of bike thefts-across the city in the past few years.
The OPS and its partners, Bike Ottawa and Safer Roads Ottawa, are also renewing our commitment to 529 Garage and encouraging cyclists to register their bikes. This program is easy to sign up to through the app or online. It can help police locate a stolen bike sooner. The app was launched in May 2019 in Ottawa and to date, over 4,000 residents have registered and 23 bikes have been recovered and returned to their rightful owners.
Simple things like investing in a durable lock, or putting your bike away in a locked shed or garage, will go a long way to keeping it safe from thefts. Residents living in high rise apartments and condominiums should store their bike in designated secured enclosures, and all riders should choose bikes racks that offer high visibility and foot traffic or surveillance.
For more information about 529 Garage, please visit ottawapolice.ca/endbiketheft. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still register your bike and be enrolled in the program, but we ask that you collect your sticker at a later date. While the sticker offers a secondary serial number to verify ownership of the bike and acts as a visual deterrent, it is not necessary to complete the registration.
As the weather starts getting warmer, more residents in Ottawa will take advantage and get out of the house and go for a bike ride. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but we are asking riders to still be mindful of physical distancing public health guidelines.
Looking for more detailed bike theft data? You can now access five years of data through Open Data Ottawa. The information provides details on bike theft incidents. For privacy reasons, each point has been geo-masked to the nearest intersection within the neighbourhood where the bike was reported stolen. Key incident details are included in the dataset, such as: date, time of day, day of week, make, model, colour, reported value, and speed. This information will be updated annually to provide residents with information that will help collaborate on solutions to prevent bike theft in Ottawa.
The release of Bike Theft data through Open Data Ottawa is part of our commitment to improve access to public safety data. In addition to this data, Criminal Code of Canada offence data is also available at the neighbourhood level through www.neighbourhoodstudy.ca.