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Immobilise: Secure Your Bike

Friday October 17, 2008

Bikes get stolen.  It’s a fact.  Few actually get returned to their owners, so do what you can to ensure yours does get back to you.

I found out about Immobilise (www.immobilise.com) whilst searching the ‘Net recently.  It’s basically a national database on which you can log your valuable possessions including information such as serial numbers, costs, identifying marks, proof of ownership…  basically, any information which will help you recover your lost or stolen goods.  The Police search this database when they find lost or stolen property and then can return the goods.  Having your data handy in your Immobilise account will also make it easier to report a lost or stolen item as you have all the details and images online.  And (!) at a press of a button you can log a particular item as lost or stolen.  When an item is listed as lost or stolen, it can also be added to the CheckMend database.

Via the Immobilise Shop you can buy a number of items to mark your property including luggage tags and electronic bike tags – the latter is obviously of interest here.

The ImmobiTag Electronic Tag is a small device which is inserted into a standard seat pillar.  Each electronic tag has a unique code number which can be read by the Police using a special scanner.  The ‘boys in blue’ then check the database and return your bike!

With the Dahon D7HG, and others, the seat post pushes right through the frame so the standard ImmobiTag won’t work.  In this case you’ll need the ‘grain of rice’-sized ImmobiTag for “split frame” bikes.  With this Tag, you simply glue it inside the frame of your bike, through one of the small holes bikes appear to have these days.

After you’ve hidden the Tag on your bike, simply stick the warning sticker on and that’s it!  A visual deterrent to thieves and an electronic tag to aid recovery.

Oh, don’t forget to register the Tag (and therefore your bike) on the Immobilise website so they know who to return the bike to.  Again, you can include photographs, proof of purchase and the frame number – basically, the more information the better.

I’m fitting my Tag this weekend!

[Update, 19th October 2008: Found the dedicated ImmobiTag site at http://www.immobitag.com/uk]

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