Website Seeks to Help Track Down Stolen Bikes

Stolen Bike Finder lets users enter a description of a stolen bike to see if there are matches with those being sold on sites like Craigslist and eBay.

Property thefts tend to rise when the economy is crappy, and the number of stolen bikes in Novato back might be an indicator to back up that impression.

According to Novato police statistics, 36 bikes thefts were reported within city limits in from Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012. Ten of those were in the month of August. In all of 2011, there were 20 bike thefts.

What if there was a way that bike theft victims could receive email alerts when a bike matching the description of theirs were up for sale on sites like Craigslist and eBay?

Enter the Stolen Bike Finder.

The website is a search engine that allows users to enter a description of a stolen bike and where it was stolen to see if there are matches with those being sold on sites like Craigslist and eBay. Users can also create an alert to receive notifications when bikes that fit the description go up for sale.

The website was created by Priceonomics, the "the price guide for everything." The site posted a blog in late August titled "What Happens to Stolen Bicycles?" and the post incited an overwhelming response, so much so that its team created Stolen Bike Finder. 

On the other side of the stolen bike transaction, the Marin County Sheriff's Office launched in October a free service to register bicycle information to help identify a stolen bike. The Sheriff’s Bicycle Registry Program aims to create a database of bicycles with information such as serial numbers, make and model.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of the idea behind Stolen Bike Finder and if you've used the site. And definitely let us know if you've been successful in finding your stolen bike through it!

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