GOBike Buffalo has joined up with a national registry to try to fight bike theft in Western New York.
The organization now offers an online registration form for bicycles. Bike owners can fill out the make, model, color and serial number of their bicycle. The information is added to a national registry called Bike Index, making it easier to identify as stolen.
The Bike Index database is used by bicycle shops, police departments and pawn shops to identify whether a bicycle is stolen. For example, if a bicycle thief brings a stolen bike into a shop in an attempt to sell, the staff member can search for that bike in the Bike Index and refuse to purchase. The staff member may even be able to notify the bike's lawful owner.
According to GOBike Buffalo's website, a cyclist should take the following steps if their bicycle is stolen:
1. File a police report!
2. List your bike as stolen using the Bike Registration form. It works best if you have your serial number (generally located under the bottom bracket shell, between your where your pedals & crank arms meet the bike), so be sure to write it down when you get your bike. Some local shops will keep a record of the serial number for you. Check with the shop where you bought your bike to see if they have a record of it.
3. Print flyers about the stolen bike and take them to local bike shops.
4. Check Craigslist and ebay every so often to see if your bike shows up there. You may want to check listings for nearby cities, such as Toronto and Rochester.
5. If your bike was insured, contact your insurance company and file a claim.
Bike Index is not directly affiliated with any law enforcement agency. It has partnered with more than 300 bike shops and police departments to recover more than 3,000 stolen bikes.