Are you missing your bike? Then check out our newest Twitter feed, @Getyourbikeback.
Right now, SPD has about 500 “found” bikes in storage at our Evidence Warehouse. Each one of those bikes was abandoned somewhere in the city, then later recovered by officers. We may have your bike, and we’d like to reunite you with your wheels.
It’s a good bet that a number of the bikes in our warehouse were previously stolen, but owners don’t always call police to make a report. Why, you ask?
“People think that if they don’t have their bike’s serial number, they can’t make a stolen bicycle report,” says Found Property Detective Michael Whidbey. “You don’t absolutely need a serial number to get your bike back, but it does expedite the process.”
Don’t have your serial number? Then how about a sales receipt for the bike? Or a picture of your bicycle (better yet, of you riding the bike)? Can you provide a vivid description of the bike, including details about special toe clips, stickers, scratches, dents or any other unique traits your bike might have? We’ll need a bit more info than “I think that’s my missing stock black Specialized Rock Hopper.”
Starting today, we’ll be tweeting general descriptions about the most recently “found” bikes and we’ll provide updates as more bikes come in.
So, what do you do if you see a bike you think belongs to you on @GetYourBikeBack?
The easiest way to get it back is to provide your case number (if it’s been tweeted on @GetYourBikeBack and you previously reported the bike stolen) and the bike’s serial number (if you have it), and send an email to FindMyBike@Seattle.Gov, along with your contact information. Please don’t email to ask about bikes that AREN’T listed on @GetYourBikeBack.
Then send an email to FindMyBike@Seattle.Gov referencing the tweeted bike description, and provide as many details as you can. Again, please don’t email to ask about bikes that AREN’T listed on @GetYourBikeBack.
@GetYourBikeBack is still a work-in-progress, and we’ll continue finding ways to make it easier for you to track down your missing bike. For now, we’ll be tweeting bikes as they come in.
Found blue TREK 7100 10 speed bicycle. Yours? send email to FindMyBike@Seattle.Gov
— GetYourBikeBack (@GetYourBikeBack) August 21, 2013
If our Found Property detectives are not able to find a bike’s owner, the bikes still go to a good cause, and are often donated to several non-profits locally like the South Shore Middle School after School Bike Repair Program, Earthcore, Lions Club and Alffia, which provides bikes to women and children in Africa.
Bikes recovered during a criminal investigation still have to be held as evidence for trials—which often take years—but those bikes will eventually make their way to @GetYourBikeBack if we can’t find or identify the owner.
If you aren’t currently missing a bike, PLEASE take this opportunity to take a close-up picture of your bike’s serial number, along with a few additional pics of your bike for good measure. Not sure where to find your serial number? You can find out right here.
Send the pics to your email account or save them somewhere you can easily retrieve them if needed. If you want to be old-school about it, jot down your bike’s information on a piece of paper. Be sure to save it in a safe, fireproof location.
We may not be able to reunite every victim of bike theft with their stolen bicycle, but we hope @GetYourBikeBack will help.