A new web series: “To Catch a Bike Thief”Posted by: Jack "Ghost Rider" Sweeney | Posted on: March 6, 2012
Ingo Lou, producer for an upcoming web series entitled “To Catch a Bike Thief”, dropped us a press release about the project. This ties in nicely with our recent coverage of Outside Magazine‘s great article “Who Pinched My Ride?”, where the author used GPS tracking devices to follow stolen bikes.
Here’s the press release:
NEW WEB SERIES FOLLOWS TECH-SAVVY CYCLISTS AS THEY CATCH BIKE THIEVES WITH GPS-TRACKED BAIT BIKE
Cyclists are angry at rates of bicycle theft and want more to be done to stop it. Roughly 2.5 bicycles are stolen every minute, and even when bike theft is reported to police, victims stand a less-than-one-per-cent chance of actually recovering their bike, according to the Centre for Problem-Oriented Policing in a report prepared for the US Department of Justice.
This has inspired a group of Vancouver cyclists to create a web series, aptly called “To Catch a Bike Thief,” to chronicle their adventures as they attempt to recover GPS-tracked bait bikes they constructed themselves.
The web series is intended to raise awareness about bike theft, promote discussion, and explore ways that individuals and communities can protect themselves against theft.
“I’m constantly surprised at the level of support and encouragement we receive from everyone in the cycling community for our project,” said Broderick Albright, one of the first members of the To Catch a Bike Thief team.
Broderick and the rest of their team began experimenting with GPS tracking technologies for bicycles in early 2011 and constructed their first bait bike in June 2011. During the summer, production of the series began when the group tested their DIY bait bike, keeping it on a short leash at first. They ran round-the-clock stakeouts, waiting for a thief to cut the lock so the To Catch a Bike Thief intercept team could hop onto their bikes and chase the stolen bait bike.
The GPS tracker in the bait bike (purchased online from a website specializing in equipment to help catch cheating spouses!) has a vibration sensor that activates the tracker once the lock is cut. The tracker then broadcasts its real-time location every 10 seconds to a mapping server accessed through a web-application. In To Catch a Bike Thief, the team designated a “dispatcher” to coordinate with the intercept team in the field via two-way radios.
“GPS tracking gives our intercept team dispatch real-time response of the bait bike, and allows our team to develop a proper intercept strategy that is both safe and effective,” said Ingo Lou, producer of To Catch a Bike Thief. “We want to make sure we have all the information we need before we go and intercept our bait bike after it’s been stolen.”
The To Catch a Bike Thief team hired security guards on bicycles to be on hand when confronting bike thieves. The security detail isn’t there to make arrests, but to observe, report and deter any potential violent behavior to protect the intercept team.
Series director, Kirsten Aubrey envisions a web series in which the full picture of bicycle theft can be thoroughly explored by a combination of GPS tracking, rigorous research and good old-fashioned documentary-style filming. “I want to understand the big picture of bike theft, in order to help cyclists protect their bikes.”
To Catch a Bike Thief is produced in Vancouver, B.C., and the trailer for Season 1 was released on February 2, 2012. The pilot episode is planned to release in spring 2012.
If you’d like more information about To Catch a Bike Thief or to schedule an interview with a team member, please contact Ingo Lou at (604) 351-5077 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To tantalize you, here’s the trailer for the series: