HONOLULU (KHON2) — Bikes are a hot commodity among thieves according to police. The Honolulu Police Department reported there were 817 bike thefts last year which is up from 795 in 2020.
Bike owners said it’s not a victim-less crime.
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“Chances of getting the bike back is impossible, it’s one of the worst feelings,” said Ron Craig, a Honolulu resident.
Those chances could go up. This legislative session, lawmakers put pen to paper, requiring Honolulu police to create a new online database for stolen bikes.
“I figured the thieves are using technology to sell them, so let’s see if we can use technology,” said Rep. Lisa Marten, (D) Kailua, Waimanalo.
HPD will be in charge of maintaining the website and said it’ll be open to the public. The site will show stolen bicycle serial and emblem numbers.
“This will be something that people who are going to buy a used bike can go and look first and see if the serial number or emblem number is listed on that database,” said Marten. “If it is, they don’t have to buy that stolen product, they don’t have to be part of the problem.”
The legislature found that stolen bikes are often resold through pawn shops, secondhand businesses and online platforms. The new rules go for people selling used bikes too.
“If they don’t check that database and confirm that product is not on there, it doesn’t matter how it came to be in their hands. They are liable for selling it and they will be fined,” said Marten.
Pawnbrokers and second-hand stores are already required to submit transaction records to county police departments. However, those records are sent via mail and can cause a lag. The new law hopes to speed that process up.
“By requiring that everything be submitted electronically, that will help HPD on all the goods including bikes,” Marten said.
The police union said, this is a step in the right direction and opens doors for other stolen goods to be tracked.
“I hope I never have to look up that database, but knowing that it’s there makes me feel good,” said Craig.
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HPD said, the launch date for the database is still in the works.