529 Garage

During the COVID 19 pandemic, you can still register your bike on the app 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 your registration.

We will update this page when our Front Desk is available to provide the 529 Garage stickers.

In partnership with Citizens for Safe Cycling (Bike Ottawa) and Safer Roads Ottawa, the OPS has engaged the services of 529 Garage (project529.com/ottawapoliceservice); a bike registration app that connects riders to each other in the greater Ottawa area.

The app works to alert other Ottawa-area bicyclists any time a bike is stolen or goes missing. Once the user determines his or her bike is missing, they activates an alert notification to 529 Garage, which sends out a broadcast to all users in the area to be on the look out for the missing bicycle. 

Additionally, it redirects users to the OPS online reporting site so that they can complete an online report in order to legally claim their bike if it’s recovered. 

If you don't have a smartphone or tablet, you can also register your bike on the 529 Garage website

The 529 Garage stickers (shields) will not be available during the COVID pandemic.

The OPS is also coordinating with our Evidence Control Section to review bicycles in our inventory and reunite them with owners. You can contact our Evidence Control Section by dialing (613) 236-1222, extension 5238.

It’s easy to register, you simply download the app, input whatever information you wish as a point of contact for you, and even upload an image of your bike. This service is free and paid for by the OPS and Bike Ottawa.

        

Looking for more detailed bike theft data?

You can now access five years of data through Open Data Ottawa. The information provides detail on incident level bike theft. 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 include 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.

 TIPS ON HOW TO PROPERLY SECURE YOUR BIKE

The following are suggestions on how to effectively secure your bicycle from being stolen.

Many may not think twice about buying a proper lock or where to park their bike, whether at home or at a place of work. 

  • Statistics indicate only 1 in 5 stolen bikes are reported to the police
  • In Ottawa 1,361 were reported stolen in 2019

Please consider the following tips:

  • Register your bike with by downloading the 529 Garage app. It only takes a couple of minutes and that information is accessible to police to help us get your bike back to you. 
  • Store your bicycle inside (in a locked garage, if available), avoid locking your bike on the front porch or at the side of house.
  • Residents living in high-rise apartments and condominiums should store their bike in a designated secured enclosure to avoid theft. .
  • Avoid using bike racks that are situated in concealed areas with little to no surveillance opportunities. Public bike racks located on sidewalks or in front of businesses are generally safe for short-term parking (daytime).
  • Avoid using bike racks that are damaged and not properly anchored.
  • Invest in a proper bike lock such as a U-Lock which requires more time to defeat as opposed to a cable lock.  Consult with your local bike shop for expert advice and how to properly secure your bike.
  • Take your helmet and any bike accessories with you (if possible) to minimize being targeted.
  • When transporting consider locking your bike on your car rack if you plan to leave it unattended.
  • If you’re buying a used bike ask to meet in a public place and verify the serial number on 529 Garage. If the seller isn’t comfortable, you shouldn’t be either!
  • Always report thefts to the police – online 

 FAQs

1. Do I need to bring my bike with me to register and get a 529 Shield?

If you plan to obtain your shield at one of our events, you will need to bring your bike with you, and pre-register on the 529 Garage app. If you are obtaining a shield at one of our OPS stations, you will need to pre-register your bike on the 529 Garage app and ensure one of the registration photos includes one with you and your bike. 

2. How is my information shared?

Only law enforcement personnel will have access to the full database. If you have to issue an alert, you can choose what type of contact information you will release to the biking community.

3.  What do I do if my Shield falls off?

The 529 Garage stickers are made extra sturdy, with special adhesive that makes it difficult to remove them once applied. However, if your shield  falls off your bike, you are still protected because you registered your bike with 529 Garage. The sticker itself is meant to act as a visual deterrent. If you can’t catch us at one of the many events we are attending this year, you can still register through the 529 Garage website and obtain your sticker at a later time.

4.  Where can I find my serial number to register my bike?

Please be sure to look at your serial number closely.

5.  Why do I have to file a police report?

In order to ensure that the right bike goes to its proper owner, the OPS requires that a police report is filed. We have made it easier to file a report by offering it online at www.ottawapolice.ca/onlinereporting.

6.  Why do I have to file a police report if the OPS has called me to come get my bike?

In order to release the bike to you, we need to verify that you are the owner. By creating a report, you provide us with a formal record for accountability and transparency purposes.

7.   How effective has this app been in other jurisdictions?

Vancouver Police Service and affiliated RCMP stations have reported a 30% reduction in bike thefts in Vancouver, 60% in Granville, and a 55% reduction in Whistler.

8.  How does the biking community help with this initiative?

Anyone that has the app on their smartphone can help with the recovery. Once a user reports their bike is missing, anyone within 15 kilometres of the incident receives a notification with details of the missing report. Other users can send notification if they spot the missing bike.

9.  So someone found my bike, can I go and get it?

Never attempt to recover a stolen bike without first contacting police.

10.  What happens if I sell my bike?

There is a tool on the app that lets you forward the bike's information, sticker registration, and non-personally identifying photos to the email of the person to whom you sold your bike.

11. Does OPS get any money from this program?

No. The Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Safety Council and Bikes Ottawa are sponsors of this initiative, and offer the shields free of charge at any OPS station or at local biking events. Local bike shops may ask for a small fee to cover their costs of running the program.

 

Visit project529.com/garage for more information.

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