About the Bike Theft category

Report stolen bikes, ask for advice on how to prevent it from happening to you. Or ask for help tracking your stolen bike down. Let’s work together to fight this huge problem because there’s no hero coming to save the day.

(Unless I can get an officer from the PPB Bike Theft Task Force or @bikeindex to be the host of this category!?) :grinning: :grinning:

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Hey, I’ll host this if you want :slight_smile: It’s funny you post this just now, I’m editing some footage of an apartment bike room break-in I was about to share to use as an example re: bike security


Cool. I’ll bump up your user privileges and we’ll see what we can do. I’m still figuring out all the tools so bear with me as I get things sorted. In general I’d just want to have someone smart and nice who can answer questions, guide folks to resources, and share the right info when needed. Thanks for offering!

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QQ: I have seen you, @Jonathan_Maus, push Project 529 for registration. I have registered on @bikeindex. Is there cross pollination there (I seem to recollect reading that there was a while ago)? If so, does one feed the other or is it bidirectional?

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There isn’t cross-pollination. They are two separate services fighting the same fight. For years we’ve (the Portland Police Bureau and BikePortland) mentioned both, but lately I’ve noticed the PPB has solely mentioned 529. They say that’s what they use more, although I know they also use @bikeindex as well.

People can and should use either one. Both are excellent tools and will help get your bike back. We’re lucky to have a choice.

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How do you register custom bikes? There is no serial number. But they are very unique and identifiable.

Likewise, I have a trike with a sticker for a serial number – I assume this would be peeled off. While not as unique, also identifiable unless stripped to a bare frame which is almost inconceivable.

You take a ton of photos and document these characteristics and register it at bikeindex.org. We’ve facilitated thousands of no-serial recoveries due to this kind of documentation. I’m bryan@bikeindex.org if you need more help


Jonathan, I finally jumped on here. I’ll field any questions for folks as I’m able also. Thanks for initiating the conversations about Bike Theft! I’m confident we can get a handle on it with our strong community involvement! We gain traction every day.


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Yes and No, from what I understand. BikeIndex can correct me if I’m wrong, but Project 529 searches all BikeIndex records regardless if a serial number is entered. BikeIndex is only able to search 529 records that are listed as stolen by serial number. As an organization internally, we use Project 529 to find bike owners because its comprehensive search abilities to incorporate all other major registries. When we find a BikeIndex match through 529, we are able to contact the owner through BikeIndex.


Thank you. That’s very helpful. I will also register on Proj529 then.

The search experience is going to be super different across each platform. If you want to search Bike Index bikes, use Bike Index search. Specific serial string searching works across each but 529 does not fully search Bike Index for non-serial matches, i.e. just matching on color and radius, make and radius, etc. So the more broader searches are better to run in Bike Index.

(There’s a bunch of non-search related advantages here too - i.e. only stolen serials in Bike Index are picked up and used by the pawn search system Leads Online, etc. - but that’s getting off in the weeds.)

Again: If you want to thoroughly search Bike Index bikes - use Bike Index search.

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My 2022 Trek Dual Sport was stolen January 30th from my home near SE 115th & SE Harold. Police report #2022-902943. Please let me know if you see a bike matching this description. My kids are devastated that I can’t take them on bike rides. I saved for two years for this purchase and we got to go on exactly three rides before it was stolen.