529 Garage surpasses one million searchable bicycles worldwide

by J Allard July 23, 2019   529 Team

World’s largest bike database program spreading throughout North America, transforming the way police fight bike theft

SEATTLE, WA, July 24, 2019 – 529 Garage has surpassed one million searchable bicycles worldwide, locking in its status as the world’s largest bike registration program. More than 1,400 law enforcement, city, university and bike shop partners have now signed on throughout North America, tapping into a universal database that helps police fight bike theft across any border or jurisdiction.

J Allard, Founder and CEO 529 Garage

“Project 529 has reached a milestone that’s a first of its kind, connecting owners of a million bicycles with one global community united in fighting bike theft,” said J Allard, founder of the 529 Garage cloud-based system. “Our program brings cyclists, law enforcement, schools and agencies together to attack the bike theft problem from the ground up. We’re putting real pressure on criminal activity and, most importantly, getting lots of stolen bikes back to their owners.”

J Allard, a former Microsoft executive, founded the company five years ago in Portland, OR., with the vision to cut North America’s $500-million bike theft epidemic in half by 2025. The company aims to hit five million bikes by 2022.

Launched in 2015 in Vancouver, Project 529 has helped Vancouver police reverse its growing problem of bike theft. In the three years prior, bike theft had grown 69%. Since the program’s inception, bike theft has declined by 30%.

Rob Brunt, 529 Garage Liaison, British Columbia

“As the first city to adopt Project 529, we’re extremely proud to be part of a global team of law enforcement and cyclists who are taking steps to reduce bike theft,” said Const. Rob Brunt, Vancouver Police Department’s Project 529 liaison officer. “The program has shown huge success in Vancouver and it’s rewarding to see it spreading across North America.”

More than a dozen new Canadian cities have recently come on board, including Ottawa, Regina, Red Deer and Brandon, as well as a slew of new U.S. partners like Baton Rouge, Furman University, Washington University and CalTrain/San Mateo Sherriff. In response to interest in eastern Canada, the 529 team is launching a French version of the website this week.

Dave Sanders, Portland Police Bureau

“Project 529 unifies our jurisdictions and cities in our mission against bike thefts. This opens the lines of communication and sharing of information, and we’re already seeing bikes travelling between different locations as they’re being returned to their owners,” said Officer Dave Sanders with the Portland Police Bureau. “We expect Project 529 will continue to get bigger and bigger as it becomes more widely embraced and people see the success and value of the program.”

New data about North American cyclists

As an expert in bike theft prevention, Project 529 is today releasing the results of its latest research, usage data and survey results involving bicycle owners across North America.

It reveals:

  • More than two million bikes are stolen each year in North America, equating to one theft every 30 seconds.
  • Bike theft costs North American communities more than $1 billion each year.
  • Of the hundreds of thousands of bicycles recovered by police each year, less than 1% are registered and fewer than 5% are returned to owners.
  • Only 20% of stolen bikes are reported to police.
  • More than 50% of stolen bikes used a cable lock, as opposed to a U-lock.
  • Fewer than 20% of bicycle owners know the serial number on their bike.
  • 7% of bike theft victims quit cycling.
  • 25% of bike theft victims ride their bikes less.

Take action to prevent bike theft

Remember: Register, Lock and Report. Download the 529 Garage smartphone app and register your bike. It’s free and only takes five minutes. Lock your bike with a high-quality U-lock; never rely on a cable lock. And finally, if your bike goes missing, alert the community on 529 Garage and report it to your local police force.

About Project 529 and 529 Garage

529 Garage is a tool for police, cyclists, bike shops and the public to access bike information from one universal searchable database. It offers free registration to cyclists and bike shops and free searching to police. Cyclists can visit www.project529.com or download the 529 Garage application. Cities and police can visit try529.com for a 30-day free trial. Shops interested in point-of-sale integration or the retail program should contact info@project529.com.

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