The Paris Police Department is reminding residents of the bicycle registration program that helps recover stolen bikes back to their rightful owners.
“Unfortunately, many of the reported thefts occur when the bike is left out in the open, such as the yard of a residence,” said Chief of Police Bob Hundley. “Instead of putting the bike up, our kids ride into the yard, lay the bike down and leave it there. Someone comes along, gets on the bike rides it for a few days and then abandons the bike.”
Hundley stated that the bikes are then found and reported but the matching those bikes with stolen reports are almost impossible. In many cases, the owner doesn’t have serial numbers or other unique identifiers for the bike.
“Retailers may sell 50 bikes of the same model and color, so serial numbers or owner applied numbers are very important in getting a bike back to the rightful owner,” said Hundley.
The department responded to 20 reported thefts involving bicycles and was able to recover 5 of those bikes. They also responded to 25 reports of found bicycles with no recovery of a stolen bike. Hundley suspects there are some victims who choose not to report the theft due to the chances of recovery.
Securing the bike is the best way to keep it safe, but when theft does occur the chances of recovery are much higher if the bike is registered with the department.
“It’s pretty sad when a child gets their bike stolen but we need to also suggest this program for our adult riders,” said Hundley. “Our community is known for the love of cycling and there are a lot of expensive hybrids, racing and trail bikes out there. Please consider registering your adult bike in the program to give us a better chance of recovery.”
The point of contact for this program is the Community Policing Officer Curtis Graham who can be reached at 903-737-4137 to register your bike. Alternatively, you can go to the website, www.paristexas.gov, navigate to the police department, crime prevention page. On the left side banner, click on ‘Bicycle Theft’ and new page will open with a link to the bicycle registration form. Once the form submit button is clicked, the form goes straight to Officer Graham.
“These bicycles for children are expensive and the adult bicycles can be really expensive, help us do the best we can in recovering your property should a theft take place,” said Hundley.