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Bike theft sucks - No matter who you are, you probably just wanted a nice solid bike to ride, and now someone has stolen it. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this.

Where I live, most bikes get stolen by people who come onto campus to steal a bike for quick drug money. They quickly sell them to a pawn shop or other 'grey-area' dealer within a few hours.

Thus, most stolen bikes never leave town, and most just get resold and end back up on campus, lost among the masses.

The situation where you live may be different, but the fact remains that it is too easy for people to steal and resell bikes, and too difficult to register and search for stolen bikes.

The Crux Of The Problem

# 1) There's no incentive to look for or report stolen bikes

Even if a pawnshop, bike shop, or potential buyer thinks your bike's stolen, there's no good reason for them to check your bike's serial number. Why? If they do find out your bike is stolen, there's really nothing in it for them - except they're losing the chance to get a cheap bike.

# 2) The current stolen bike registry is sorely lacking

There is an existing stolen bike registry - The National Bike Registry. They want you to pay to include your bike's serial number in their database.

Let me reiterate that: They want you, someone who just had your bike stolen, to PAY THEM to include your serial number in their database. In my book, that's getting screwed twice.

Not to mention the fact that the only people who have easy access to the NBR's database is law enforcement. So unless your bike gets recovered by a cop, its serial number probably won't ever get checked out.

# 3) There's no easy way for the common person to check a bike's serial number

Following right on the heels of #2, - there's no easy way for you or I, a bike shop, or a pawn shop, or ANYBODY to run serial numbers through the National Bike Registry. Sure, they can call the NBR's 1-800 number, get put on hold, and speak with a customer service rep. But that's a serious hassle.

Stolenbicycleregistry.com wants to help fix this


  • By providing FREE 5 year web-based registration for your stolen bike.
  • By providing detailed, searchable bike info - including reward offers, photos of your stolen bike, and more.
  • By providing FREE web access to our stolen serial number database.
  • By linking bike locators with bike owners.
  • By running WATCHLIST - a free, bi-monthly email newsletter containing stolen bike info broken down by state, city, or zip code. WATCHLIST is printable, and aimed towards people who come into contact with a lot of bikes, and can act as a quick reference of all the stolen bicycles in a specific area.
  • Stolenbicycleregistry.com has a few other ideas ...

    I've also put this whitepaper online, in which I outline a new approach to tackling the bike theft problem. Interested? Read Open Source Bike Recovery - On The Cheap.

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