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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.
# 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
Stolenbicycleregistry.com has a few other ideas ...
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