The “tattooing” of motor vehicles has proven to be such an effective measure in lowering theft rates that the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) is planning to start a nationwide program to reduce bicycle theft.
“The MOI plans to start registering bicycles and owner information, as well as printing identification numbers on each bicycle to reduce bicycle theft,” the MOI said in a press statement.
The ministry said that previous programs to mark serial numbers on cars and motorcycles had been very successful in reducing vehicle theft rates.
“Most bicycles produced in Taiwan come with a set of serial numbers, so we plan to register a particular bike and the owner using the serial number,” the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Crime Investigation Section chief Chiu Nien-hsing (邱念興) told the Taipei Times via telephone. “So when we find a stolen bicycle, we can locate the owner quickly.”
He said that since some imported bicycles may not have serial numbers, they would assign numbers to such bicycles.
To prevent bicycle thieves from selling bicycle parts separately, Chiu said that the police would put the number onto different parts of bicycles using a special type of sticker.
When pasted onto bicycle parts, chemical ink in the sticker penetrates the part and remains there, he said.
“This will be very effective in preventing bicycle thefts,” Chiu said. “In the past, marking vehicle parts has helped to reduce car theft by about 50 percent and motorcycle theft by about 40 percent.”
He added that police authorities in several counties and cities around the nation had started the program in May last year, and a nationwide anti-bicycle theft program would likely be launched in May.
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