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San Francisco Police Department Bike Anti-Theft Unit – Social Campaign

This is a good example of:

Creating a proactive bicycle anti-theft program


Bicycle commuting has grown 71 percent since 2007 in San Francisco – now third in the nation in ridership behind Portland, Ore., and Seattle.  With that growth comes the challenge in bike thefts: more than 4,000 bicycles were stolen in San Francisco in 2012 (SF Budget and Legislative Analysis).

That year, police recovered 864 bicycles, but only 142 were returned to their owners. The rest sit in SF Police Department’s (SFPD) storage facility in Hunters Point with some 800 other recovered bikes. The city decided this was a problem worth proactively addressing in conjunction with the city’s San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) Program. SAFE launched SafeBike as a clearinghouse for information on protecting your bike.

SFPD bike theft

The city now has several resources to help communities and bike owners:

  1. Twitter Feed: SFPD uses the twitter handle @SFPDBikeTheft as a two way channel.  Launched by  Officer Matt Friedman, the Twitter feed includes post pictures of stolen bikes, suspected thiefs & chop shops (stores that deal in stolen parts similar to car chop shops), online conversations, outreach, and more.
  2. Bike registration: SFPD links to the national bike registry program,
  3. Videos, Guides and Forms: From the Home Page:
  • Apartment & Condominium Security Guide
  • One Page Tip Sheet
  • How to register your bike and report theft
  • How to lock your bike
  • Coming soon: bait bike program

Images from SFPD

URL link to Main Resource:

Project Location :

San Francisco, California, US

Development Context:





San Francisco Police Department, JennyO Google Group, SF SAFE, STOLEN BIKE REGISTRY, Bicycle Coalition, 511 Bicycle Info, Mission Station SFPD, SFMTA, Valencia Cyclery, Sports Basement

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