Have you ever had your bike stolen? If you're an avid cyclist like me, chances are you've had one stolen from you -- and you've experienced anger, frustration and downright despair when you discovered just a broken lock or that empty space in your garage where your bicycle was parked.
Last summer, I had my new mountain bike stolen. I've had bicycles stolen before, but I had no real way to recover them other than through luck. But now, with power of social media, I was able to spread the word about the theft and recovered it within a week.
Now I'm trying to help others prevent and recover stolen bicycles through various methods: working with a local bicycle coalition and other advocacy groups; creating online resources; using my personal social media accounts and blog to share success stories and news about stolen bikes. I've helped several individuals find their bikes, but there's much more we can do as a community to help combat this problem.
After hearing about Richard Biggs' petition directed towards eBay UK, I've decided to start another petition that calls on eBay.com in the U.S. and its subsidiaries to make serial numbers mandatory on listings on its website.
Serial numbers are found on most bicycles and can be used by owners or law enforcement to identify stolen bikes. Forcing sellers to list serial numbers on online ads will make it harder for thieves to sell our stolen goods.
eBay goes to considerable effort to protect the intellectual property of music and film companies. It removes auctions for products it suspects are counterfeit and requires drivers to enter a registration number when listing a car for sale.
Now we are asking that eBay and its subsidiaries do the same for bicycles.
If eBay helps us AND we all take the responsibility to write down our serial numbers and lock up our bikes up properly, we can start shrinking the marketplace for stolen bicycles. This is just one more useful tool in the toolkit to help crack down on bicycle theft.
Please sign my petition to show eBay.com and its subsidiaries that their customers want them to make it mandatory to list a bike's serial number in their listings.