New website cuts down on sales of stolen bikes, partners with Po - KPTV - FOX 12


New website cuts down on sales of stolen bikes, partners with Portland’s Bike Index

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A new website is cutting down on the sales of stolen bikes by cross referencing serial numbers with databases that track stolen bikes, like Portland’s Bike Index.

The site is and it was created by Rob Lawson in the San Francisco area out of his own personal frustrations with bike theft.

“If we can create a place, a haven where bike thieves can’t sell their bikes, you sort of isolate the problem,” Lawson told Fox 12.

And it’s a big problem.

An average of 27 bikes have been reported stolen in the Portland area, based on data collected by Bike Index ( in just the last week.

“We track these really closely and the dollar amounts are insane,” said Bike Index co-founder Bryan Hance.  “You talk about 60-70 bikes [reported stolen] a month during the slow months, and the average value of a bike is about $1,000.”

Hance says in about half the cases those stolen bikes show up online, on websites that aren’t regulated and leave the owners little chance of getting them back.

That gives the thieves an easy low-risk, high-profit marketplace.  If they can turn a quick profit, in most cases, they’ll continue to steal.

“Here’s a company so frustrated with the problem that they’re creating a new online marketplace dedicated exclusively to bikes, and specifically trying to legitimize the sale of bikes online,” said J Allard.  “It’s come to that.”

Allard started another Portland-based bike registry at and says a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in North America.

The three biggest ways to fight the problem, Allard says, is to learn how to properly lock your bike, make sure it’s registered and if it is stolen, report it.

“You can, same day, steal a bike at 9 in the morning, put it online at noon, sell it by 1, and before somebody’s even filed a police report you’ve made $350 bucks and walked out the door,” Hance said.  “That’s what we’re trying to fight.”

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