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Here’s a story that caught our eye recently…from the San Francisco Chronicle, a story about stolen bicycles and the sprawling police warehouse that stores the recovered ones:

There are rows of mountain bikes, road bikes, rusted clunkers, fat-tired cruisers, fancy carbon fiber, and new and old frames of every color.

The cycling cache, which recently stood at more than 800, is the fruit of the San Francisco Police Department’s labor – the bicycles were recovered in stings, raids, stakeouts and chop shop busts – yet none of the bicycles has been claimed.

The problem, according to Officer Matt Friedman, the department’s point man on bicycle theft, is that there’s no way to find the rightful owners.

Read the full article by visiting the SFGate page.

A couple things in the article left me shaking my head:

1) Do bike owners really not write down their serial numbers or take photos of their two-wheeled friends? If you don’t, you really should. In fact, go and do it RIGHT NOW. Having a serial number and a couple of photos helps tremendously in recovering stolen bicycles…how else might you prove that the bike is yours if you manage to locate it?

2) In the article, the author states, “…no coordinated bicycle registry program exists that officers could refer to when they recover a bike.” Does no one use the National Bike Registry anymore? The NBR is cheap (about a dollar a year per bike) and from what I’ve heard, pretty effective. It’s the big kid on the block in terms of bike registry; there are others, including ones done locally, but the NBR is really the one that should spring to mind for anyone looking to protect their bike/recover a lost or stolen one.

We’ve written about bike security a bit over the years. Take a look at our articles:

Lock Considerations (the comments are a treasure trove of good info)

Wheel Security