In response to community concerns, the Bellingham Police Department's Neighborhood Anti-Crime Team (N.A.C.T.) has enhanced efforts to prevent bicycle thefts. We use a three-pronged approach that includes education, prevention and enforcement.
Focused efforts on bicycle thieves involve the use of a bait bicycle. A recent emphasis began in late November and ran for approximately two weeks. The bait bike was stolen seven times resulting in nine arrests for theft. The bait bicycle was placed in areas throughout the city known for bicycle thefts.
Over the last few months, N.A.C.T. has met with community advocates and leaders to address the problem of bike theft. The team has been educating the public on the importance of documenting serial numbers of bicycles. During the late summer and fall, N.A.C.T conducted weekly registration events at the Police Station, and other locations, utilizing the 529 Garage bicycle registration program. Serial numbers are a key component of theft prevention efforts, as this information gives law enforcement the ability to match recovered stolen bicycles to their rightful owners and hold suspects accountable. Partnering with community stakeholders has proven to be an effective method to accomplish our shared goals.
N.A.C.T. strongly encourages bike registration and https://project529.com/bellingham or https://bikeindex.org are two online sites where this can be accomplished. We also promote proper locking techniques, which will reduce bicycle theft in the community. We recommend use of u-locks in combination with cable locks in the “Sheldon-Brown locking technique”.
It is also important for individuals to store their bicycles within secure areas of their residences to deter theft from their homes.
N.A.C.T. intends to continue their efforts to reduce and deter bicycle theft in our community through education, prevention and enforcement, including the placement of the bait bike.
Register your bike, lock it up, and help end bicycle theft in Bellingham!
For further information regarding our recent efforts please contact Community Outreach Commander Bob Vander Yacht.