MISSOULA – Locking up your bicycle and making sure it is safe and secure sometimes isn’t enough here in Missoula to keep it out of the hands of a bike thief.
If your bike gets stolen, one way to help police return it to you is to register it with the city either at city hall or online.
The bicycle registration program assigns you a number for your bike that the city then keeps on file in case of a bike theft or accident.
When registering your bike, it’s suggested that you have a serial number, make, model and other information like its color any marks on the bike that make it unique.
Any other information that can be used to describe your bike — like the number of gears and tire size — is also helpful.
The Missoula Police Department also suggests putting unique marks on different bike parts and accessories so if those are stolen or if your bike is taken apart for its parts they will be easily identifiable.
“So, if there is a number associated with that bicycle — whether it be a serial number that’s known by the owner or a city bike registration number — it makes it so much easier for us to find out who the owner is and especially if they have made a previous report of their bike being lost and stolen.” Missoula Police spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh said.
“Then we can return those eliminate the massive pile up that we have [and] create more space — because tomorrow it’s going to be the same thing and we are going to have to find for more bikes,” he added.
Registering your bike is free and if your bike is recovered by MPD, Sgt. Welsh says they will hold any bike that is valued at $20 or less for 30 days. Any bicycle valued in excess of $20, will be held for 90 days.
Police add that it’s also important to report a bike theft as soon as you know its gone.
There will also be an online bike auction event beginning on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The bikes can be seen at Gardner’s Auction Service between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the auction.
Click here for more information on the upcoming bike auction.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News