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Efforts Gear Up to Reconnect Owners with Stolen Bikes

Ausitn Police hope a planned registry will reduce the number of recovered, but unclaimed, bikes that are later sold at city auctions.

Just as Austin has a thriving bicycling community, it's also home to bike thieves. Both groups stay pretty active. 

The city is perennially one of the worst cities nationwide when it comes to bicycle thefts, and the Austin Police Department wants to change that by beginning a program to register bikes, allowing the city to track stolen bikes and bolster reports of bike theft.

At the moment, APD has no way to connect the people to the bikes if they're stolen. APD's Gary Griffin says hundreds of those bikes get auctioned off every year if they’re unclaimed.

So, APD is asking drivers to register their bikes with the city. Registration can be completed online or in person. Today marks the first day of registration on the UT-Austin campus.

While UT already makes students and staff register their bikes, Griffin says there's a disconnect.

“We don't use the same software and reporting system that they use,” he says. “So, what we are trying to do is get them in our data base, as well, since we don't cross reference each other."

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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