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Stolen Bikes ?

Stolen Bikes ?

More than 400,00 bicycles are stolen each year in France as per FUBicy ((Fédération française des usagers de la bicyclette). The resulting theft may lead to some owners giving up buying a bike at all (23%), some buy a second hand (50%) or a new bike (25%). A small percentage of bike owners actually retrieve their bikes (2-3%)*. More than 1/3rd of the stolen bicycles are eventually found but they are not restored to their owners owing to lack of identification.

 

Identification of bicycle is a regular feature in Denmark, Germany and Belgium. In France, there are as many as 65,000 bicycles in provinces and 3,700 bicycles in Paris that have been 'marked' or 'coded' with a system called bicycode. This system of marking the bicycles has been developed by FUBicy, a Strasbourg based non-profit association.

 

How exactly does the coding works ? Each bicycle is coded with a unique number which is then engraved on the bike frame. This number is then stored in the association's server. The owner is given a 'bicycle passport' as well. Whenever the bicycle is stolen, the owner changes the status (stolen, recovered, destroyed etc.) on the database. If the owner wishes to sell his bike, he simply transfers the bike passport to the new owner. This may also deter the reselling of bicycle by illegitimate owners. If a bicycle is recovered abandoned after the theft or is up for sale, it makes it easier to trace the owner because of the coded system.

 

Like any other system, bicycode may be helpful to deter a potential theft or to retrace a stolen bike. However, exact statistics are hard to find owing to limited awareness and practice of bicycode. As per FUBicy, 1.5 % of 33,000 'coded' bicycles were stolen between June 2004 and March 2008 of which 6-9% were retreived by their owners. 

 

The system for retracing the bicycle is in place in cities like Bordeaux, Amiens, Lille, Strasbourg etc. but Paris is yet to adopt the system of tracing the bicycode for stolen bikes. As a general rule, one must report the theft of the bike to the local police station (commisariat). One must also adopt the preventive practices of locking the bicycle frame to a fixed device such as a pole, railings, bike parks etc. even if for a short duration. 

 

The cost of getting the bicycle coded is between 5 €- 10 € according to the operator and the equipment used. In Paris, the bicycles can be coded at the following places:

  • Roue Libre Les Halles, 1, Passage Mondétour, 75001 Paris. Tel:
  • VELOVIA, 24, rue du Petit Thomas, 75003, Paris Tel: +33 (0) 1 48 04 84 91
  • Roue Libre Bastille, 37, Boulevard Bourdon, 75004 Paris Tel: +33 (0)
  • Cyclectro Electryb, 23, rue de Rivolu, 75004 Paris Tel: +33 (0) 1 4 71 56 39
  • Esprit Vélo, 11, Boulevard Saint Marcel, 75013 Paris Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 17 01 79
  • Bougez Futé- Espace écotransport de Paris , 66, Boulevard Vincent Auriol, 75013 ParisTel: +33 (0) 1 45 82 14 25
  • Buzibi, 67, rue Croulebarbe, 75013 Paris Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 07 16 75
  • MDB- Mieux se Déplacer à Bicyclette, 32 rue Raymond Losserand, 75014 Paris Tel: +33 (0) 1 43 20 26 02
  • HollandBikes, 77, Boulevard Lefebvre, 75015 Paris, Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 50 42 40
  • NEOVELO, 27,rue de Cronstadt, 75015 Paris Tel:+33 (0) 1 40 43 93 04
  • Cyclo Pouce, 38, bis Quai de la Marne, 75019 Paris 

 

For other departments, one can consult the site of FUBicy here.

 

FUBicy

12 rue des Bouchers, 67000 Strasbourg
Tel : +33 (0) 3 88 75 71 90
Fax : +33 (0) 3 88 36 84 65
Website of FUBicy

 

*IFRESI - CNRS & Altermodal, 1999 - 2003/ courtesy FUBicy