Bicycle theft is a complex issue, and Project Bike Swap aims to minimize and manage it.
The Niagara Police Street Crime Unit of Niagara Falls has been patrolling popular locations for bike theft while also educating residents and business owners about ways to prevent theft since June 2018.
Project Bike Swap has been a success, recovering over 43 bicycles and charging 22 people with 46 offences .
A search warrant resulted in the recovery of five bicycles with a combined value estimated at $28,000. Five people are facing multiple charges of theft and possession of stolen property, along with conspiracy to commit indictable offence charges.
Residents are reminded to be vigilant in safely locking up their bicycles, and hotel and campground owners are urged to remind their out-of-town guests to do the same.
The Niagara Police also recommend people record the serial number of their bicycles, in order to be able to identify themselves as the rightful owner should their bike be stolen. A photo of the vehicle and any identifying markers, including the serial number and any scratches, stickers or other unique features is a simple and easy way to prove ownership, and can be stored on a cellphone.
Another way to aid in the prevention of bike theft is to report all incidents and suspicious activities to police or Crimestoppers.