A stolen bicycle sucks. Nothing compares to the brutal feeling of having something stolen from you, especially if it is something as beloved and useful as a bicycle. Too often, Bike SLO County hears stories of bicycles being stolen from backyards, garages, and public racks.

Previously, one of our staff member’s bicycle got stolen and through the magic of social media, craigslist, and constant communication with the police department, it was found and returned in a few weeks! While the recovery rate is traditionally low, there are a few steps you can take to make it easier to get it back into your loving arms.

Register Your Bicycle

  • Registering your bike won’t keep it from being stolen, but it greatly aids in its return to you if it is recovered by the police. The police will not give you back your bike unless they have proof that it belongs to you, so a serial number and photo are essential.
  • The Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo police departments offer bicycle registration. Morro Bay residents can call the Police Records Department at 805-772-6225 to learn how to register their bikes.  San Luis Obispo residents can take advantage of SLO PD’s online bicycle registration form.
  • If you are a Cal Poly student, UPD has an online bicycle registration system for students.
  • Whether you can register your bike locally or not, you should:
  1. Register your bike with the National Bike Registry and/or The Bike Index. If you have a minute to spare register with both!
  2. Download our “Freezer Form” PDF, print it out, fill it out right away and save it…in your freezer! If your bike is ever stolen you’ll know exactly where the necessary info is and hopefully your hot bike won’t stay a cold case for long! Download Freezer Form Here.

If Your Bike is Stolen

  • Report the theft to your local authorities and provide any information you can.
  • Request that the police enter your bike’s info into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS). Section 11111 of the state’s Penal Code requires police to record all bike thefts in the system. If your bike is recovered in California and listed in CLETS, your odds of getting it back will be much better,