John Burman, The Hamilton Spectator, (Nov 3, 2009)
Can you describe your bike without looking?
Are you able to rattle off the serial number and the type of handlebars well enough to have a cop recognize it and return it?
For most cyclists, the answer is no.
That is why Hamilton police take in 600 to 1,000 bicycles a year -- most recovered after being stolen or lost -- and have a rough time finding the rightful owners.
Many of those bikes are expensive pieces of machinery. Now police are trying to do something to help owners with their memory.
Operation Bike Guard was unveiled yesterday morning at the beginning of National Police Week.
Bike owners get a simple printed envelope on which they fill in the blanks, making note of their bike's serial number and distinguishing features.
It's available from community policing centres or online at hamiltonpolice.on.ca, where you can download the form and print it.
If you go to the Ottawa Street, Landsdale or Concession Street policing centres, volunteers there can take a photo of your bike and give you a hard copy for your records.
Crime prevention co-ordinator Acting Sergeant Barry Mungar says the idea is to fill out the form and keep it in a safe place at home with a photo of your bike, ready to assist police in getting it back if it vanishes.
"With all the models and brands of bicycles out there, we needed something more to help the property branch get them returned," Mungar said.
The bike information package will also include pamphlets on bike and traffic safety. These are also available on the police website.