LAKEVIEW — Lakeview just got a little bike friendlier.
From a new CAPS program designed to prevent bicycle thefts to National Bike Month deals and prizes, bicyclists have plenty of ways to up their cycling game in May.
After noting a rise in thefts, mainly of bicycles or items inside vehicles, the Town Hall Police District's Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy team announced a new plan to help return stolen bicycles to their owners.
The district has a new sticker available for riders who register their bicycles with the police department. The shiny silver sticker has the Police Department logo and notes, "This bicycle is registered with the Chicago Police Department."
The new bicycle stickers are offered by the Town Hall Police District as a way to prevent bicycle thefts. [DNAinfo Chicago/Ariel Cheung]
If someone attempts to peel the sticker off, a large "void" is left behind. The stickers are available only in the Town Hall District police station, but there are plans to expand citywide.
The goal of the sticker is to discourage bicycle thieves, as a pawn shop could easily identify the bike as stolen when checking the police data of "hot" or stolen bikes, community policing Sgt. Jason Clark said.
If police can prove the bicycle belongs to someone else through its registration, they're better equipped to arrest the thief and return the bike to its owner.
"Right now, my goal is to stop the thefts. If I can get people to register them and prevent thefts, I'm a happy guy," Clark said at Wednesday night's CAPS meeting for the 1923, 1924 and 1925 neighborhood beats.
Within the three beats (bordered by Irving Park Road, Southport Avenue, Belmont Avenue and Lake Shore Drive), thefts from Jan. 1 through May 6 are up 23 percent in 1923 and 54 percent in 1925 compared to the same time last year. Thefts decreased by 13 percent in 1924.
With few registered bicycles in Lakeview, it can be almost impossible to track down an owner once a stolen bike is recovered, Clark said. There are times when police find garages filled with stolen property but have no way to return any of it.
Clark said if block parties or other groups wanted multiple stickers for an event, he would be more than happy to accommodate them.
The chambers are offering daily prizes that can be won by visiting Lakeview businesses and posting about them on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BikeLakeview. The chambers suggest posting about your experience or favorite items at the business.
The 46 shops, restaurants and other businesses are also offering deals to those who bring their bike helmets into the store. Deals range from 10 percent off at Bakin' & Eggs (3120 N. Lincoln Ave.) and Chicago Tattooing and Piercing Co. (1017 W. Belmont Ave.) to a free water bottle at The Little Gym (3216 N. Lincoln Ave.)
Prizes offered every day in May include Divvy passes, a tune-up from On the Routes Bicycles and dozens of gift cards to local businesses.
Check out a full list of participating businesses and prizes here.
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