On Tuesdays as part of the Homeless Ministry at church, we provide bicycles to those who do not have transportation. Last week a woman who’d received a bicycle a couple of weeks ago came in and asked for the serial number of the bike she’d been given because it had been stolen and she needed the number so the police could retrieve it for her. (She said she’d found it but was unable to prove it was hers.)
Unfortunately, we were unable to help her since the church does not keep a list of serial numbers for the bicycles. However, this reminded me of the importance of recording serial numbers in case of theft. In fact, on two occasions we’ve had stolen bikes returned because we were able to provide this information to the police.
After my green Schwinn Stingray was stolen from the bicycle rack in front of our apartment complex in Pompano, we called the police, made a report including the serial number which my Mom had written in her address book (under B of course) and a few days later the bike was found, identified and returned. This bike had actually been stolen the year before when we lived in Jacksonville, but my brother and I found it abandoned by the thief only a few blocks away with a flat tire. I guess this bike was really meant for me and me alone.
On another occasion, my sister’s bike was returned after being stolen from a bike rack at a mall in Pompano. A few weeks later, she saw her bike parked in front of the local water park. She found a police officer and asked him to call home and get the serial number so he could identify the bike as hers. Long story short…that number along with the officer’s questioning of the bike’s “new owner” resulted in the bike being returned to my sister.
I don’t have an address book like my Mom had to record serial numbers, but I do have an Evernote account where I keep that type of information. An address book, a digital file, a note card taped to the garage, whatever works for you…just make sure you record the serial numbers of your bikes.