By Lethbridge Herald on June 12, 2020.
The Lethbridge Police Service family has donated a new mountain bike to a young Lethbridge resident who inspired the department’s new Bike Index.
Seventeen-year-old Nathan Sherwood had three bikes stolen four different times before finally deciding to take action.
“The fourth time we had just gotten back from vacation in British Columbia,” he explained to local media representatives at a special presentation ceremony on Friday. “I had my bike locked with a U-lock to a pole in my yard, and (the thieves) had taken an angle grinder and cut through it. And I thought, ‘That’s it.’ I made an appointment to talk to the mayor, and he told me to bring some ideas in September to talk to the Police Commision. I thought of some ideas, and one of those ideas was the Bike Index.”
Sherwood explained the system to reporters.
“It’s basically like a licence plate for your bicycle,” he said. “You have your sticker that has the number, and on the website you have your serial number and the sticker number. So if somebody finds a bike, they can just put their sticker number or serial number into the website, and it will say whose bike it is, and how to get it back to them.”
Officers and civilian members of the police service donated money to buy Sherwood a new bike in appreciation for his efforts. Sherwood received the very first Bike Index sticker on his new bike, and was praised by both LPS Chief Scott Woods and Lethbridge Police Association president Jay MacMillan for his determination to do something to help those in the community experiencing bike thefts.
The LPS confirms there were 651 reported cases of bicycle theft in the city last year, which actually understates the problem. Overall police recovered 915 stolen bikes, almost 300 more than were reported stolen.
The Bike Index uses stickers which are hard to remove and leave a noticeable pattern when removed from a frame, and numbers can be checked instantly by both police officers and the public using a smartphone QR scanner app or image scanner.
“We are going to find more stolen bikes quicker,” stated Cst. Shawn Davis, who set up Bike Index on behalf of the department, “and we hope to alleviate the bike thefts that are happening.”
The Lethbridge Police Service has ordered 10,000 stickers, and officers will be handing out stickers and registering bicycles between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today. Besides being available for pickup at police headquarters in the near future, the stickers will also be available at local bike shops Bert and Mac’s Source for Sports, Ascent Cycle and Aspenland Cycle for those who want to self-register.
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter