Separate partnerships provide access to 10.2 million people

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA (Tuesday, April 30, 2024) – 529 Garage, the world’s largest program to fight bike theft, is now available to law enforcement agencies throughout the entire country of New Zealand and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

These two separate funding partnerships will see members of the national police service in New Zealand, as well as police forces throughout B.C., provided with full access to the searchable 529 Garage database.

“Christchurch Police are pleased to be supporters of the 529 Garage initiative and welcome the decision to roll it out nationwide. We know that our colleagues in other police districts will welcome this additional tool in their efforts to reunite stolen bikes with their rightful owners,” says Christchurch Police Senior Sergeant Roy Appley.

Anne Heins, Community Travel Advisor for Christchurch City Council says: “Bike thefts are an ongoing issue in our city of Christchurch, as well as throughout New Zealand, with thousands of bikes being stolen each year. We have seen the success of this program in other cities, including Vancouver, and we’re eager to see it rolled out across the country to start putting the brakes on bike thieves.”

Originally started as a pilot project involving the Vancouver Police Department in Canada in 2015, the program now has more than 3.1 million searchable bikes worldwide. Since its launch, bike thefts have declined by 70 per cent in Vancouver.

“What began as a commitment by the Vancouver Police Department to reduce bike theft in our city has now spread worldwide,” says VPD Chief Constable Adam Palmer. “We’re proud of the successes we’ve achieved that are now being taken across our province and other nations.”

529 Garage was created by J Allard, a former Microsoft executive, who – after having his bicycle stolen – built the system with the vision of cutting the bike theft epidemic in North America in half by 2025.

“We’ve changed the way police fight bike thefts around the world, providing a universal registration system that’s accessible, searchable and shared by police forces,” says Allard. “As a result, bicycles are being returned to their owners, at times across international borders. These new partnerships are another step forward toward expanding the program’s global reach and closing the ranks around bike thieves.”

The 529 Garage team will work with the New Zealand police service, councils, retail stores and cycling organizations across the country to roll out the program.

“It takes a network of bike enthusiasts to fight bike crime, and the reason this program is proving to be so successful is because it brings together law enforcement, bike shops, riders and multiple levels of government,” says Rob Brunt, a retired VPD Constable who now acts as 529 Garage’s Chief Outreach Officer, as well as an advisor for the VPD’s bike theft team.

All bicycle owners are encouraged to register their bikes for free with 529 Garage. Visit project529.com for further details or download the 529 Garage smartphone app. Bike retailers are also invited to contact Project 529 to learn more about how to get involved in this growing effort to combat bike thefts.

The numbers

  • New Zealand has a population of more than 5.1 million people and is home to an estimated 4 million bikes, of which thousands are stolen each year.
  • The Canadian province of British Columbia has a population of roughly 5.1 million people, with 119 RCMP detachments, a dozen municipal police forces plus municipal bylaw departments. In addition, universities, First Nations, non-profit biking organizations and bike retailers will all be provided access to the system.
  • Project 529 started as a pilot project in Vancouver in 2015. At that time, 9 bikes a day were reported stolen. Today, about 3 bikes a day are reported stolen – a 70% reduction.
  • The 529 Garage database now totals more than 3.1 million registered bicycles worldwide.

About Project 529 and 529 Garage

Founded in 2013, Project 529 has grown to become a cornerstone in the fight against the global bike theft epidemic. Through its flagship service, 529 Garage, it offers a comprehensive solution for cyclists, law enforcement, bike shops, universities and organizations to consolidate bike information through a universal, searchable bike database and toolset. This free-to-register service simplifies bicycle registration to under five minutes, hosting over 3 million searchable bikes – making it the world’s largest tool for aiding in the recovery and return of stolen bicycles. Register your bike or e-bike online for free at project529.com or through the 529 Garage app.

Media Inquiries Katya Irwin
Word Count Consulting
604-897-8277
katya@wordcountconsulting.com

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