Local police push anti-theft app for Okanagan cyclists | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Local police push anti-theft app for Okanagan cyclists

Const. Jesse O'Donaghey, J. Allard (CEO of Project 529), Const. Fred Arnold (Kelowna RCMP - Cops For Kids Rider), Const. Rob Brunt (Vancouver Police Department) and Garth Letcher (City of Kelowna - RCMP Crime Prevention Supervisor).
Image Credit: Contributed

CENTRAL OKANAGAN – In order to fight the rising number of bike thefts in the Central Okanagan, local police, the City of Kelowna and Regional District are partnering with an American online service that is spreading across North America.

529 Garage is a project between ABUS, a mobile security company, and Project 529, a Portland-based cycling software, according to a media release from Kelowna RCMP.

“The 529 Garage allows riders to easily and securely register their bikes and provides the capacity to broadcast a 'Missing Bike Bulletin' to the 529 community and social networks that includes images and details that will enable cyclists and law enforcement to identify and recover the stolen bike,” the release says. “Additionally, the 529 Garage generates a detailed report that can be provided to the police and the victim’s insurance company to maximize and expedite claims and the ability for law enforcement to check against a national database of missing bikes.”

Bike thefts in the Central Okanagan continue to rise every year and there has been a 40 per cent increase in reported thefts this year compared to the same time last year.

“Bike theft is an epidemic, and the solution lies in industry cooperation and community engagement,” J. Allard, founder of Project 529, says in the release. “This partnership represents the marriage of simplicity and security backed by world-class engineering.”

Cyclists register their names, contact information, photos and a description of their bike on a smartphone app, which can be accessed by police, insurance companies and the public.

The project has been in effect in Kamloops since mid-May.

For more information visit the 529 Garage page or the City of Kelowna website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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