Community Stories

Bike thefts down, 529 Garage registrations up

November 10, 2020

Since the City of Red Deer launched the 529 Garage Bike Registry over a year ago, the trend in bike thefts is going in the right direction – down.

When comparing January to August 2020 to the same period of 2019, reported bike thefts have gone down by 36 per cent.

One reason for the decrease is the proactive crime prevention measures Red Deerians are taking, such as using the 529 Garage program. For bike owners, registering your bike and affixing the 529 Garage decal are becoming as essential as the cable and U-locks.

As Janise Somer, Program and Communications Coordinator at the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre (CACPC) sees it, the value of the coded, tamper-resistant decals shouldn’t be understated. “When a would-be thief sees the shield decal, they know it’s registered and therefore not an easy target.”

As of October 2020, Red Deerians have registered more than 1,100 bikes with 529 Garage. This can be helpful to the Red Deer RCMP, as it gives them a way to connect recovered property to their rightful owner.

Since launching last summer, the program has seen eight stolen bicycles returned back to their rightful owners. Though Project 529 warns this number doesn’t capture all retrieved and returned bicycles for a number of reasons. Bikes may be returned, but the owner forgets to mark them as recovered; the bike might be recovered in another region, which is not recorded in our local statistics; or the bike may not be registered, and therefore does not reflect all bikes recovered and returned by police.

 “We hope to see enrolment continue to climb, as we believe there will be a greater deterrent to bike theft as more bikes are registered,” says Somer.

Registration is free, and takes only a few minutes. For more information about registering your bike, purchasing a decal, or the 529 Garage program, visit or contact the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre at 403-986-9904.