Top 10 Bike Recoveries19 Mar 2021
With one bike being recovered as quickly as 20 minutes after the theft, to another turning up 10 years later, these Top 10 recoveries from BikeRegister prove the system works; returning stolen bikes to grateful owners and helping to reduce and deter bike crime.
1. Registered in Surrey, Recovered in Baltimore
Our BikeRegister Support Team received an email from a cycle shop in Baltimore, United States, asking for help to trace the owner of a bike that had been found locally. An apprentice at Baltimore Bicycle Works, explained that a customer had brought the bike into the shop after they had found it abandoned in downtown Baltimore with a BikeRegister sticker on it. The bike was a red Raleigh Classic, and the apprentice was able to give the bike’s serial code to the BikeRegister support team. In just a few minutes, BikeRegister were able to trace the owner as a woman who registered her bike to the database when she was living in Surrey, but who was now living in Baltimore. She was surprised but delighted to hear that her bike had been recovered and that the BikeRegister system worked so effectively, even overseas.
2. 20-minute Recovery
A bike that was taken straight to a Cash Converters in Leyton, East London, was flagged as being stolen within 20 minutes of the theft by vigilant staff at the store. Staff members were suspicious of the seller when the bike was brought in and used BikeRegister’s free BikeChecker service (https://www.bikeregister.com/bike-checker) to check the bike’s frame number to ensure that it wasn’t listed as stolen on the BikeRegister database. When they found that the bike was actually flagged as stolen, Cash Converters quickly rang the Met Police who were able to contact the real owner and make arrangements to return the bike to him. The owner was ‘ecstatic’ to get his bike back and impressed by the speed of the recovery.
3. Recovering a bike that hadn’t even been missed
Bike owner Simon Baldwin, from West Sussex, had his bike marked with BikeRegister by British Transport Police at a local station. Shortly after, he locked it to a wooden fence on a quiet access road at the back of his mum’s house. He didn’t even realise it was missing, so was highly surprised when local police rang him to ask whether he’d had his bike stolen. Simon said: “Having seen my bike within the previous hour, my initial reaction was one of shock, quickly replaced by relief in the knowledge that the police had not only recovered my bike but also apprehended the thieves.”
4. Ten Years On
Proving that BikeRegister stands the test of time, a bike owner got his black Cannondale bike back after it was stolen from Kensington High Street, 10 years ago. The bike was confiscated by MPS Homerton from drug dealers who were using it to make drug runs. When police checked the BikeRegister database, the bike had been flagged as stolen nearly a decade ago and the real owner was surprised to receive a call from police to collect it after all these years.
5. Identifying a victim in a road traffic accident
A cyclist who was hit by a vehicle while out riding was identified solely by his BikeRegister marking, enabling his family to be informed of his hospital admission. The man, from Stratford on Avon, wasn’t carrying any ID on him and couldn’t communicate his name to police and ambulance crew. Luckily, he had attended one of the many BikeRegister bike marking events held by Warwickshire Police where he had his bike marked. This allowed the police to retrieve the cyclist’s details on the BikeRegister database and contact the accident victim’s family.
6. Purely by chance...
BBC News Producer, David Waddell, had his much-loved Ridgeback Urban stolen from the station cycle shed at Ewell West. The bike was trashed by the thieves before being sold off for parts to a local bike shop. By chance, David recognised his stolen bike’s distinctive burgundy colour when he dropped his son’s bike in for repair at the same shop several months later. He was pleased to be able to prove the bike was his and reclaim it as it was registered on BikeRegister. Another chance recovery resulted in Cristian Lanzi getting his silver Raleigh back after he spotted it on College Green in Bristol. The bike was surrounded by a group of young people who were sitting on the grass chatting and Cristian asked police officers who happened to be in the area to step in. Cristian said: “Thanks to BikeRegister I could prove it was actually my bike, so the police were able to return it to me.”
7. In just two hours
A bike that was flagged up as stolen on BikeRegister by its owner at 6.30am one morning, was recovered by an officer from West Yorkshire Police at 8.30am the very same morning. The bike had been found by police as a result of a burglary, where thieves made off with two bikes, one of which was marked and registered on BikeRegister. This proves just how quickly bikes can be traced back to their owners if they are registered.
8. Recovered after 3 years
Two vigilant Met Police officers spotted a stolen bike while conducting a bike marking session in Enfield. The PCs noticed that the bottom bracket of the bicycle had been scratched away where a BikeRegister number would have been placed. Checks made with BikeRegister identified the frame number as belonging to a bike that had been stolen three years previously and provided the officers with the owner’s details. This process took just three minutes. A quick call was made to the owner of the bike who was highly delighted as they hadn’t expected to see the bicycle ever again.
9. Cyclist donates recovered bike
Long distance cyclist, Frances Grier, had long given up on finding her silver Canondale bike, which was stolen more than four years ago, so she was highly surprised to be contacted by the BikeRegister Support Desk when someone tried to register her bike as theirs on BikeRegister. Frances’s bike was originally marked and registered by City of London Police, and after it went missing she listed it as stolen on the database. When the new owner tried to register it as his own, the system flagged up the ‘stolen bike’ status. The buyer contacted the seller to ask for his money back but unfortunately, they would not cooperate. Frances said: “As it was stolen from me four years ago, I am letting the buyer keep it as I had written it off as lost forever.”
10. TV presenter’s bike found 60 miles away
TV personality Timmy Mallett’s stolen bike was found 60 miles from where it was taken, and just 10 days after it went missing thanks to an eagle-eyed youngster and BikeRegister. He had his bike marked and registered on BikeRegister at one of the many bike marking events that take place across the UK. When Timmy realised his bike had been stolen in Maidenhead, he flagged it as stolen on BikeRegister. The bike was subsequently found just 10 days later by a young boy who spotted the abandoned bike as he walked through an underpass with his dad in Swindon, around 60 miles away. The boy’s dad saw a BikeRegister sticker on the bike’s frame and called the helpline number printed on the sticker to see if the bike was listed as stolen. After checking the details, BikeRegister contacted Timmy with the good news that his bike had been found. After the recovery, Timmy tweeted: “Thank you @ bikeregister you run a wonderful service!”
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