Hot Wheels initiative results in the recovery of 44 stolen bikes

OTTAWA – This summer, Ottawa Police Service (OPS) frontline patrol officers spearheaded project Hot Wheels, a community initiative aimed at lowering the number of commercial and residential break and enters in which bicycles were targeted.

In August and September, Const. Samson Vo and Const. Richard Zulys co-led a team of officers that organized community outreach events – promoting the benefits of having bikes registered with the 529 Garage Program. These initiatives generated a significant increase in citizens registering their bikes with the program.

“Police officers partnered with City of Ottawa By-law officers in order to identify several locations believed to be used to dismantle bicycles,” Vo said.  “A total of five locations identified as ‘chop shops’ were subsequently closed.”

This initiative, paired with the 529 Garage Program, bolstered the stolen recovery rate of bicycles in our city by 30 per cent compared to 2019.

So far in 2020, a total of 44 bicycles have been recovered and returned to their rightful owners for an approximate value of $30,000. Furthermore, an additional 100 bicycles were seized and impounded for an additional value of $35,000.

“We strongly recommend that Ottawa residents register their bikes with 529 Garage, which is a proven and effective crime prevention tool, considering the fact that is makes registered bikes less desirable to thieves,” OPS Crime Prevention’s Sgt. Art Wong said.  “Close to 6,000 bikes have been registered to date and of the 154 bikes that have been reported stolen, 39 per cent (61) have been returned to the rightful owner.”

“We would like to thank the Bank Street BIA, Bikes Ottawa, Ottawa Bike Club, Safer Roads Ottawa, the City of Ottawa By-law and Crime Stoppers for their support and our team of dedicated officers,” Zulys said.