Bicycle Diagram

Marina Andalon

Daily Press Staff Writer

Santa Monica is the bike mecca of Southern California and with so many bikes, means more opportunities for bikes to get stolen. The Santa Monica Police Department has recently introduced the Bike Index Program help track stolen bikes.

“If and when an officer encounters a potentially stolen bike, if it is not reported with the serial number then the police usually have no way of locating the bike to its rightful owner,” said Neighborhood Resource Officer Marilyn Amiache.

It seems to be an on going issue for the police department. Many people do not register their bike, making it almost impossible to prove the bike was stolen and returning the bike is no longer an option.

Now the department is using Bike Index, an online database cofounded by Seth Herr and Bryan Hance in 2014. It is currently the nation’s largest bicycle registration and recovery service and has 3,200 confirmed recoveries to date.

“I think there are two main aspects that make us unique. One, we are nation wide, meaning if a bike is stolen in state A and found in state B, it will still show up in the database,” said Bryan Hance, cofounder of Bike Index. “ Secondly, we are a bit more modern than other bike registries. On Bike Index, you can upload a photo of your bike making it easier to identify.”

A database within the department can only track down bikes by the serial number. Now with Bike Index, the system allows officers to be on scene and type in any information about the bicycle such as color, model, and serial number. If and when results appear the officer will know if the bike is in the right ownership.

“What is great about Bike Index is the fact that the program is very user friendly, and it is nationally updated,” said Officer Amiache. “People should still use precautions so their bike is less likely to be stolen.”

When a bike is registered with Bike Index, the information including detailed descriptions is stored into the database. This information is made available to hundreds of partners across the U.S.

Some local partners include LAPD West, SMPD, Bike Attack, Helen’s Cycles, Performance Bicycle and Raleigh Bikes.

At Raleigh the employees will not only inform you about the Bike Index program but also help you register your newly purchased bike.

According to , over a million bikes are stolen every year in the United States. To make sure you are not part of the statistic the best thing to do is follow a couple of tips the Bike Index has provided.

  1. Use a U-Lock, cable locks should never be used as a primary way of locking a bike in a city.
  2. Aim to have the hardest bike to steal on the rack. Two U-Locks or one U-Lock with a heavy duty cable to be the minimum required in a large city.
  3. Don’t rely on foot traffic to keep your bike safe. Thefts act under the cover of crowd activity. Don’t rely on the presence of cameras to keep your bike secure.
  4. Many bikes are stolen from garages and store rooms. Lock your bike securely to an immovable object even if in a secure place.


The Santa Monica Police Department are now strongly encouraging everyone and or businesses that have a bike to register the bike at