The same day Santa Cruz Ecology Action got kids at Delaveaga Elementary School in Santa Cruz to register their bikes, a thief stole one of the bikes from a 10 year girl. When the bike was later found abandoned, police were able to return the bike to its rightful owner.
Ecology Action in Santa Cruz are encouraging children at Santa Cruz schools to register their bikes with the city to help fight a growing problem with bike theft. After they distributed 40 registration stickers to students at Delaveaga Elementary School, a bike belonging to student Nicola Nardell was stolen out of the shed in her family’s yard. Police later recovered the bicycle — a very new looking Electra — and were able to identify the owner through the bike license.
Bicycle registration is required in all incorporated areas of Santa Cruz County and on the UC Santa Cruz campus, except in Scotts Valley. Scotts Valley offers free bike registration at the police dispatch center on Civic Center Drive. You can register your bike for $3 in the city of Santa Cruz at fire station #1 on Center Street, fire station #2 on Soquel Avenue, or fire station #3 on Younglove Avenue in the Circles neighborhood. Watsonville charges $9 for bike registration during the day at the police station on Union Street. New bike registrations are $10 in Capitola during office hours at the police station on Capitola Avenue; renewals are $6.
When your bike is registered, it goes into a statewide database to enhance recovery if (when?) your bike is stolen and found. Also, I know Santa Cruz Police look for the bicycle registration sticker if they stop a cyclist and will check the ID number against the database of stolen bikes.