Missing your bike? Check Stolen Bicycles Australia database
IF YOU have ever had a valuable bicycle stolen, you will know the anguish it can bring.
Scanning every bike that whizzes by to see if it might be yours becomes a habit.
Cycling enthusiast and retired detective Brad Kellas is using Facebook to reunite owners with stolen bikes and to combat the growing problem of bicycle theft and reselling online.
Mr Kellas started the Stolen Bicycles Australia closed group and public page seven weeks ago, and his weekly newsletters advertising missing and recovered bikes reach around 40,000 people.
"Cyclists are a unique breed. They care for each other," Mr Kellas said.
He's drawing on that camaraderie to build a database of stolen bikes, as well as educating the community on what they can do to about bike thefts.
Part of that is ensuring people who find bikes follow the correct process.
"I'm advocating a process that needs to be followed," Mr Kellas said.
The closed Facebook group is an ideal setting for the bike database -- all visitors need to do is type the make and model of a bike they've lost, found or are considering purchasing.
The group already has over 2000 members.
Whether your bike cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, the initiative can help you.
Here's how it helps prevent bike theft and reselling:
• Reduce the on-sale of stolen bicycles, by providing a free resource for bicycle consumers to search prior to buying a second hand bike.
• Assist victims in the recovery of stolen bicycles, by educating them on what they can do to search for their stolen bike.
• Educate owners of bicycles to accurately record their bike, both in written form and by photographs, prior to it being stolen.
• Provide advice in regard to techniques and products available to record personal information on a bike for later identification by Police.
• Educate the public and potential buyers of bicycles to avoid purchasing a stolen bicycle or being defrauded when looking to purchase a bicycle online.
Check out the Stolen Bicycles Australia Facebook page.