Following a recent high profile visible-marking campaign involving bikes belonging to MPs, Peers and parliamentary workers from the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, a bike that was subsequently stolen has been recovered by police and returned to its rightful owner.
Putting the innovative bikeregister.com system to the test, the stolen bike (one of 85 that were permanently marked during the campaign) was traced back to its owner, parliamentary IT worker Bonnie O’Shea, within just a few hours of the theft.
The bike had been marked with a specially allocated serial number, and Bonnie’s contact details and the model number of her bike were placed on www.bikeregister.com, the secure online register, which is owned by Selectamark.
Bonnie uses her bike, which is worth around £700, to cycle to work every day. On the day it was stolen, she had padlocked it securely to a CCTV-monitored bike rack outside her offices in Millbank before starting work. Later that day, the bike was stolen from the rack by a gang of four men.
The men then moved onto their next target, another bike rack in an adjacent street. However, this time plain clothes police officers were in operation in the area and stopped the men who were acting suspiciously.
One of the gang was actually riding Bonnie’s bike when he was stopped. The gang were questioned and asked to hand over the bike. As they were found to be in possession of stolen goods, they will be prosecuted in due course.
The bike was taken back to Snow Hill police station in the City of London, where PC Darren Francis checked it out. He said: “We check all bikes that are recovered to see if they have been marked. It is the quickest way for us to establish identity. Fortunately, there was a marking on this particular bike, and we were able to access Bonnie’s information from the database. She was delighted when we called to say that we had found her bike.”
Bonnie said: “I think bikeregister.com is a brilliant idea. There is no way I would have got my bike back without it. My bike is so important to me because I use it everyday and it is my main form of transport in London. I was really upset to think it had been stolen, but when it was recovered so quickly, it made my day!”
James Brown from bikeregister.com said: “We are very pleased that Bonnie has been reunited with her bike. It just goes to show how effective the bikeregister.com system really is. There is no way Bonnie would have seen her bike again had she not had it marked. The system is so simple, yet very effective. In fact, a recent mass-marking campaign carried out by the Met Police was found to reduce bike theft by an impressive 75 per cent.“
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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