The National Bicycle Theft Registry ("NBTR") is an open-source reporting system designed to network local law enforcement agencies, pawnshops, community watch groups, and concerned citizens for the purpose of protecting property and creating safer communities. NBTR is not a government registry database. It is a citizen watch tool designed to empower the bicyclist community in the effort to curb theft and increase awareness.
The program works by allowing victims of bicycle theft to post an alert that is instantly sent to citizens, merchants, and law enforcement within the area where the bike was stolen. The program also works to provide guidance in how to organize community watch programs, tools to help identify stolen bicycles, and a tracking system to help citizens and merchants understand the bicycle theft rate in their area and identify property that has been stolen.
How It Works:
NBTR offers a comprehensive database structure that focuses on the collection of data under three corresponding categories:
- Stolen - This option is used to post information related to a stolen bicycle. The age of the theft does not matter. If you did not file a police report at the time the theft occurred, you should still file a report (check with your local law enforcement agency for details).
- Found - This option is used to post information related to a stolen bicycle, that is listed in the registry, as having been found. It can also be used by the owner of the post to change its status from Stolen to Found.
- Abandoned - This option is used to post information related to an abandoned bicycle that you found. The bicycle must have an identification number stamped into the frame. If custom, a well written description of the customization is required.
When a report of a stolen bicycle is submitted, NBTR automatically sends an alert to all subscribers in the immediate area, which may include law enforcement, and participating area merchants. The report is also made publically available through the search engine at this website.
- Immediately upon the discovery of a bicycle theft, call the
non-emergency police number in your area and file a report (theft or found).
After your report has been filed, it will be assigned a case number.
You will need the case number before you can post.
- Locate and collect all receipts, photos, and any other information that
proves ownership. If you do not have proof of ownership or the bicycle is a
custom build, a detailed description, to include minor oddities, along with
a declaration from two witnesses who knew you to be the owner of the bicycle
should suffice. (This is needed in the even the bicycle is found and
proof of ownership is necessary before it can be returned.)
- Document, from the best of your recollection, a detailed description of
the condition the bicycle was in at the time it was stolen. Include
details about minor oddities. These may include details about scratches,
nicks, and other damage or something as minor as a decal logo of some sort
situated on the bike in a visible place. These details help observers
identify a bike that might be stolen.
- Next, log onto
http://nationalbicycletheftregistry.com then locate the title where it
reads "Submit Report" (if you are a member log into your account).
Under "Submit Report" you will find two links; Stolen and Found.
Select the option that reflects the type of report
you will be filing (see above for a description of each).
- After completing your report you will be taken to a page that contains
the details of your post. On that page you will find "Notification Options."
Select from the options then click on the button "Send Alert."
- Immediately upon the discovery of an abandoned bicycle, log onto
http://nationalbicycletheftregistry.com and click on the title where it reads "Submit Report" (if you are a member log into your account). Under "Submit Report" you will find two links; Stolen and Found. Select the option Found then enter the serial number found on the frame of the bicycle, or any other identification number stamped into the metal of the frame. If the bicycle has a government issued registration ID tag affixed on the frame, include that in the space provided as well.
- If the serial number, or any other identifiable number from the bicycle, is found in the database details related to its description and theft will be presented. Verify the abandoned bike matches the bike in the database.
- After verifying the abandoned bicycle matches the one found in the database, contact your local law enforcement agency and report the find.
- After reporting the find, ask the officer taking your report for an incident/report/case ID number. This number is not necessary. It is used only to provide investigators with additional information allowing them to connect records in their system that might not otherwise be associated.
- Skip step 3 and 4 above if you do not want to involved law enforcement and goto step 6.
- After verifying the abandoned bicycle matches that found in the database, click "Notification Options." Select from the options available then click on the button "Send Alert."
NOTE: Prior to sending an alert you will be presented with the number of contacts who will be receiving the alert. Even if the number is low, be sure to send the alert anyway.