Northwest NEWS

May 8, 2000

Local News

Registration to take a bite out of crime

by Bronwyn Wilson, senior staff reporter

   A bicycle registration program was approved by the Woodinville City Council on May 1 and will be implemented through the Woodinville Police.

   Should a bicycle turn up missing, the registered bicycle owner will be notified as soon as it is recovered. Each registrant will receive a registration number, allowing the owner a means to identify their lost or stolen bicycle.

   "There's always been a need to register bikes," said Sgt. Kent Baxter of Woodinville Police.

   For the non-registered bike owner who loses a bike, Sgt. Baxter explained the difficulty the police have in returning a bike to its owner when it's found. "If a person says, 'I own a blue BMX Huffy,' we can't prove the blue BMX Huffy belongs to them."

   According to Sgt. Baxter, if just one bike is returned through the registration program, it will be a success. The King County Sheriff's office receives 1,500 bicycles each year, and many are never returned to the owner, due to lack of identification.

   In 1999, fifteen bicycles were reported stolen in the City of Woodinville. Two hundred bicycles are found in the North King County area each year. These bicycles are usually auctioned off or donated, because the make, model, and serial number are never recorded in theft reports.

   Once registered, though, a bicycle's data is entered into a database and a confirmation letter is sent back to the applicant, along with a registration sticker to affix on a visible part of the bicycle. A similar bicycle program was initiated a year ago in North Bend, registering approximately 250 bicycles in the first year. Since Woodinville's population is almost twice as large as North Bend, it is anticipated that the Woodinville police will register about 400 bicycles per year.

   There is no charge for the service, and registration cards are available at the following locations: Woodinville City Hall, Woodinville Library, Woodinville Ski & Bike, Golden Egg Ski & Sports & Rental (Woodinville), Play It Again Sports, and Target in Woodinville at Guest Services.

   For more information, call the Woodinville Police at 425-489-2700.