Think a bike in the photo on the Frederick Police Department’s website looks a lot like one of yours that was stolen recently?
It just might be.
The Frederick Police Department recovers dozens of lost or stolen bicycles each year; many that go unclaimed. The number currently in the department’s possession is around 39, said Dana Kelly, supervisor of records and agency accreditation for the department.
In an effort to return the bicycles to their owners, the Frederick Police are launching a new display on the city’s website. The function will allow visitors to scroll through a series of photographs of bicycles currently in the possession of the police, and each slide will have a corresponding case report number.
According to a release from the Frederick Police Department, those recovering a bike should be ready to give a detailed description, including the serial number, distinguishing features and the date and time it was lost or stolen.
Kelly said the bikes come to the department various ways: residents call after they’ve been abandoned in yards or the city’s Department of Public Works picks them up after they’ve been identified as abandoned.
After a bike has been brought to the department, the serial number and description is checked against bikes reported lost or stolen. If not identified, the bikes are kept for 45 days. After the 45-day period, the bikes are released to propertyroom.com, an online auction site.
“Propertyroom.com comes and picks the bikes up, sells them through their website and the city receives a portion of the sale,” Kelly said in an email to The Gazette. “The money goes into the city’s general fund.”
In the last year around 126 bikes had passed through the doors of the department, with only seven returned to their owners, Kelly said
Because of this, she said it’s important to register bikes. “If citizens register their bicycles with us then we will have greater success returning it to them should it be recovered,” she said.
To learn more about the bicycle registration program or to register a bike, visit the department’s webpage at www.cityoffrederick.com.
Residents can complete the registration form and email it to the address listed on the website. In the event the bike is lost or stolen, it may aid the return to the owner.
“Many times this crime is a crime of opportunity,” according to a press release from the Frederick Police Department.
Frederick Police urge residents to take preventative measures to protect their investments. Some are: record the bike’s serial number, take photographs of bikes, purchase and use a high-quality bike lock and when home, store the bicycle inside the residence.