Volunteers including RCMP officers

Volunteers including RCMP officers

Chilliwack shows up for Project 529 to register their rides

More than 90 people showed up to the Cottonwood Mall with bikes in hand to find out more about the free 529 registration event.

Chilliwack bike owners lined up outside the former Target store Saturday to register with 529 Garage.

More than 90 showed up with bikes in hand to find out more at the free registration event in the mall.

The healthy turnout shows people are “ready to drive down the numbers” of bike thefts plaguing the community, said Coun. Jason Lum.

“People didn’t just want to sit around complaining but chose to do something about it by showing up,” said Lum.

A mobile app that can safeguard and recover stolen merchandise is the idea behind Project 529 Garage. It includes a stolen bike registry using a phone app to help protect bicycles from theft by recording distinguishing features, as well as a way to help bring the stolen ones home.

“This is an idea whose time has come, and I was so proud,” said Lum.

“The message from Chilliwack was that bike thieves suck, and as a city we’re going to do something about it.”

Seeing the numbers and diversity of cyclists who showed up in Chilliwack made it an “awesome” day for 529 Garage founder J Allard.

As a tech guy, credited with inventing the X-box, Allard said he came up with the idea for 529 after he became a victim of bike theft himself. Within a few days, his vacation was ruined, his identity had been stolen and his racing bike was fenced on eBay.

These days he happily attends a few 529 signup meetings a year in the Lower Mainland to watch the numbers in the network grow.

“I like to help communities get it off the ground,” he said.

There were so many volunteers, they could have easily registered 1000 bikes, Allard said. There were event volunteers from Restorative Justice, RCMP, members of Crime Prevention Services, and new RCMP recruits out in force registering bikes with Project 529.

“The work they did was key,” he said, referring to the bike registrations, and bike safety education.

The lock demos were a big hit in Chilliwack as well, making it clear just how easy it was for thieves to snip through cable locks. Many were surprised and it was a crucial take-away.

Within a 60 km radius of Chilliwack, Allard estimated there were 14,900 bikes registered, sporting the handy-dandy Project 529 shield on their rides. It acts as a visible deterrent.

“The more people register, the more effective it is.”

The registration events often become a “flashpoint,” of sorts for people to start the conversation.

“Chilliwack is clearly a community of people who care about each other and this problem,” Allard said. “It was great to see such energy in the room.”

He figures at least 300 people stopped by to talk about bike safety, bike locks and the registry. Chilliwack became one of 13 communities in B.C. getting on-board.

“The team did a great job.”

How it all works it once a registered bike is stolen, it takes a few taps on a smart phone to get the word out online, in a special alert sent simultaneously to the 529 biking community, police and insurance.

It’s like an A-P-B goes out for the bikes that are registered, with photos of the bike, 529 shield number and distinguishing marks.

A map of where the bike was stolen pops up alerting people immediately within about a 16-km radius of the crime. In minutes, the victim can capture everything they need to report it to police and the community to help them find their bike.

Recording a serial number is the key and vital part of the program, along with the tamper-resistant stick-on shield that also identifies a Project 529 protected bike on the registry.

The serial number and shield number prove ownership and will help police close the file.

To follow up further, check out more about the anti-theft project at project529.com/garage or if you missed the event last week, register in person at any of three participating bike shops in Chilliwack, Pedal Sport, Jack’s Cycle or Vedder Mountain Bike Co.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vedder Park area where alcohol consumption was part of a pilot project in 2020. (City of Chilliwack)
Hundreds weighed in with opinions on alcohol consumption in Chilliwack parks

Pilot project in two Chilliwack parks last summer saw responsible drinking in designated areas

Russell Jonathon George Gurney was last seen in Chilliwack in mid-December. (RCMP photo)
RCMP ask for help to find missing Abbotsford man last seen in Chilliwack

Police and family are concerned for the well-being of Russell Jonathon George Gurney

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. For the Chilliwack school board byelection being held Feb. 13, 2020, mail ballots will now be a part of the process. (The Canadian Press/ Darryl Dyck)
Mail ballots approved for Chilliwack school board byelection

Applications to vote by mail need to be submitted to city by Jan. 28

Leonard Hodgins released his seven-song EP, A Date, with Disaster, on Jan. 4, 2021. (Submitted)
‘Silver lining’ to pandemic as Chilliwack musician finds inspiration, releases new album

Leonard Hodgins released his EP ‘A Date, with Disaster’ at the beginning of 2021

Preliminary artist rendering by Karvin Developments for three-lot subdivision on Berkeley Avenue. (City of Chilliwack/Karvin)
Subdivision proposal for three new homes on Berkeley Avenue goes through

Developer agrees to two-storey height limit on homes proposed for large lot over slough

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Most Read