Cycling stores hand out UV pens to help identify stolen bikes

Snr Const Terry Welsh and Daniel Brogna, owner of The Bicycle Entrepreneur are handing out ultraviolet pens for people to mark bikes when they buy them to help police identify the bike if it is stolen. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d473358
Snr Const Terry Welsh and Daniel Brogna, owner of The Bicycle Entrepreneur are handing out ultraviolet pens for people to mark bikes when they buy them to help police identify the bike if it is stolen. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d473358

CYCLING stores have joined forces with WA police in a roll out of UV pens at bike shops to help identify the growing number of stolen bikes.

Once a bike is marked with a driver’s licence number, police are able to shine a UV light to help identify the owner and return the bike.

Mirrabooka police community engagement officer Terry Welsh said UV pens were available from 10 north-west metro police stations and TBE and Bike Force stores.

“At Mirrabooka station we can have up to 43 stolen or unidentified bikes in one day come through the store room,” he said.

“The barcodes and serial numbers are often removed or filed off and it leaves me saying: ‘well I wonder who owns it?’”

Sgt Welsh said WA police recently auctioned off about 1000 unidentified bicycles.

“A $1 marker can help bring home a $2000 bike – it just makes sense,” he said.

Through partnering with the bike shops to promote marking bikes at the point of sale, Sgt Welsh said he was hoping to see success in the program.

“We are trialling the success over six months we’re fairly confident we will get some good results out of it,” he said.

“If you’ve just spent thousands on a bike, mark it up with the UV pen straight away.”

Since February in the north-west metro district there have been 333 reports of stolen bikes. However, police say actual numbers are far higher as data does not include found bikes or those that are stolen but not reported.