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What to do if your bike is stolen
City Of Madison Property Room
City Of Madison Property Room
  1. File a Stolen Property Report.

    NOTE: Remember, the more detailed the description of your bicycle (scratches, stickers & dents as well as make & size), the more likely the bike will be returned to you.

  2. Check with the Bicycle Recovery Program to see if your bicycle has been recovered.
For a registered bicycle:
  1. When the Madison Police Department receives a registered bicycle, the bike is checked against the Bicycle Registration Database. If the registration sticker is missing, the serial number is used.

  2. Per statute, a letter is sent to the registered owner's last known address notifying them of the recovery of their bicycle.

    NOTE: Always remember to update your Bicycle Registration address every time you move. This way you are more likely to have your bicycle returned to you.

  3. If the letter is returned as undeliverable, all reasonable effort is made to find the registered owner's new address.

  4. If no address is found, the bicycle is treated as unregistered.

For an Unregistered bicycle:
  1. When the Madison Police Department receives an unregistered bicycle, the bike is checked against the Stolen Property Reports.

    NOTE: ALWAYS file a Stolen Property Report if you bike is stolen. Without the report, there is no record of the theft.

  2. If the bike matches the description in a Stolen Property Report, the individual is contacted and asked to provide the serial number of their stolen bicycle to prove that it is the correct bike.

  3. If the individual does not have the serial number, a very detailed description can suffice to return the bike to its owner.

    NOTE: Remember, the more detailed the description of your bicycle (scratches, stickers & dents as well as make & size), the more likely the bike will be returned to you.

  4. The MPD holds onto all unclaimed bicycles for 30 days. During this time, the owner may check with the Bicycle Recovery Program to see if the bicycle has been recovered.

  5. If 30 days have passed and the bicycle has still not been claimed, the bike is:

    a) requested to go to auction if ridable

    b) requested to be destroyed if unridable, structurally damaged
        or unsafe.

  6. Auction: unclaimed bicycles are sent to propertyroom.com, where the public may bid on them.

    NOTE: If an owner locates their bicycle on propertyroom.com, they may "Steal It Back" by providing the bicycle's serial number.
Unlocked Bicycles: The Bicycle Recovery Program will pick up any unlocked abandoned bicycles.

Locked Bicycles: Locked abandoned bicycles will be tagged with a "Notice of Abandonment" per Madison General Ordinance 12.761. After 48 hours, the bicycle will be removed from its current location.
Unclaimed ridable bike for auction
Unclaimed ridable bike for auction
Unsafe bike to be destroyed
Unsafe bike to be destroyed
Register your bike
Lock your bike Lock your bike

There are 3 simple ways
of cutting the risk of bicycle theft:

A good lock | Using it effectively | Choosing the right location
City Of Madison Property Room
City Of Madison Property Room

Bicycle Registration reduces theft

Registering your bike greatly increases the likelihood your bike will be returned to you if recovered.