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Bike Theft Prevention

To protect your bike from being stolen, it is important to register your bike and use a secure lock.

Register your bike with 529 Garage 

Even if you lock your bike properly, there is always a chance it can still be stolen. That is why we, along with Kingston Police and Cycle Kingston, offers a bike registration service called 529 Garage.  

When you register your bike with 529 Garage, there is a greater chance it will be found and returned to you. Putting a 529 Shield sticker on your bike shows that it is registered, which can discourage thieves from trying to steal it. 

To help find your bike if it is stolen, follow these steps: 

    • Write down the serial number, brand and bike colour
    • Provide clear pictures of your bike from different angles, especially any special marks
    • Mention any extra details like stickers or scratches
    • Keep a copy of the receipt if you have one

Having this information will make it easier to identify and return your bike if it is ever stolen.

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You can usually find the serial number of your bike engraved into the frame or printed on a sticker. Most bikes have their serial numbers under the bottom bracket, the part where the two pedal cranks meet. Make note of the serial number.

You can add extra protection to your bike by using the tamper-resistant 529 Shield sticker. It acts as a warning to potential thieves that your bike is registered and makes it easier to identify if it is found.  

You can get a 529 Shield at Kingston Police Headquarters, buy one through Cycle Kingston or find it at participating local bicycle shops

When buying a used bike, arrange to meet in a public location and check if the bike's serial number is listed as missing or stolen on 529 Garage. 

If you are selling a bike you have registered through 529 Garage, there is a function on the app that allows you to forward the bike's information, sticker registration and non-personally identifying photos to the email of the person to whom you sold your bike.

If your bike goes missing, you can report it using the 529 Garage app or website. It will then direct you to fill out a report through Kingston Police. 529 Garage will then send an alert to the community, helping others watch for your bike and notify you if it is located.

Bike locking tips

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the chances of having your bike stolen. To learn more check out the video and tips below.

Always choose a sturdy, high-quality bike lock such as a u-lock. High-security locks are harder for thieves to break compared to chains or cable locks, which they can often defeat quickly. 

Ask your local bike shop for advice on choosing the right lock and learning how to use it properly. 

Whenever you can, keep your bike indoors or in a locked garage. Do not leave it locked on the front porch or the side of your home or building. 

For those in high-rise apartments or condos, use a designated secure storage area if possible. 

Lock your bike outside by securing the frame and one wheel to a strong bike rack. You can also use a high-quality cable lock for the second wheel. Avoid damaged or shaky racks and do not lock to movable objects like signs or fences. 

Public bike racks on sidewalks or in front of businesses are typically safe for short-term daytime parking. Steer clear of parking your bike in poorly lit or concealed areas with limited surveillance.  

The more visible your bike is, the less likely it is to be a target for theft. 

Even if your bike is well-locked, thieves may target accessories and bike parts. Take your helmet and detachable accessories like lights, water bottles, bells and bags with you. 

For extra safety, replace quick-release parts with bolts or secure hardware. Consult your local bike shop for guidance if needed. 

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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