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Garage 529 launches in Aotearoa New Zealand

**Update May 2023 – Garage 529 is alive and well and already we have had some customers reunited with their stolen e-bikes thanks to the system! You can purchase shields here**

Garage 529 is a security innovation designed to combat bike theft. As theft of bikes and electric bikes is now a big problem in Auckland and NZ, the arrival of this tool is very timely.

Did you know that if the Police find a bike suspected stolen, they may not be able to find you, even if you did report it stolen with serial number? That’s because they don’t have any viable tools to enable them to match the physical bike to the paper reports. Garage 529 is a fit for purpose tool to help not just law enforcement, but members of the public or bike shops when we come across a bike that we don’t think is in the right hands!

RNZ’s Checkpoint ran a video story, filmed in our humble store, to help launch it.

Click image to see the RNZ video on Checkpoint

Credit is due to Bike Auckland and particularly Chris Werry for doing the mahi in bringing this option here. It is officially a trial (new things always are), so let’s get as many bikes registered as we can! We are offering the shields free of charge in store for the rest of this month. After that, you can purchase the Garage 529 shields from our website.

it is possible to register your bike without buying a shield – simply fill in this form. It will certainly help grow the usefulness of Garage 529 and make others more motivated to check the register when buying a bike. However, that’s only part of the story. The physical shield on the bike is what makes it easy for police to find out who a bike owner is without losing half their day going through bureaucracy, usually only to find that there was no report. Seeing the shield gives them the confidence that they can radio in to any station, or even use an app on their own phone, to immediately see whether the bike has been reported stolen, and who the original owner is. The shield on your bike will also help other riders to learn about the system. And it’s only if a large number of bikes use this, that it will start to have the desired effect of reducing bike theft!

So what do you need to do now (it’s an option to do step 2 first and fill in the shield number later):

1 – Visit us in store for a shield or buy one online. Stick it on your bike.

2 – Download the app (apple here or android here) and register your bike. Alternatively do it all on any browser from the website here.

3 – If your bike is ever stolen, flag it as stolen in the app or via the 529 website. If you sell your bike, please invite the new owner to take over your listing (if you don’t, the police will contact you in the event of a theft recovery and you can direct them to the new owner)

4 – If you’re considering buying an e-bike second hand, check that it’s not been listed stolen on Garage 529!

If you’re a bike shop, we’d recommend the following:

1 – Make shields available for sale and register each bike you sell. Contact Bike Auckland to get started.

2 – If a bike that’s suspicious comes your way, check if it’s listed stolen on Garage 529! If it’s not listed and you have genuine reasons to be concerned, you can list it as ‘found‘ and see if anyone joins the dots.

3 – Consider checking every single new workshop job on Garage 529, whether it’s suspicious or not and encourage the customer to register

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Maurice Wells

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