Community partnerships starting to pay dividends – multiple stolen bikes recovered thanks to Cash Converters

November 12, 2018 By Brad Kellas 9116 Recovered Bikes


For policing to be effective it requires a strong relationship with the community. The Bike Vault model is built on the same principle and it is starting to pay dividends with the largest second-hand dealer in the world – Cash Converters.

This happy young lad alongside Senior Sergeant Kate O’Neill and First Constable Geoffrey Kwist from Brunswick Police Station can thank Cash Converters and our growing relationship for playing a major part in the recovery of his bike.

It started with a report from Cash Converters staff who identified the stolen bike on the Bike Vault website and some great work from the Victoria Police. This resulted in the recovery of the bike and the arrest of a suspected bike thief.

Informal Partnership with Cash Converters Victoria

In August this year, we were invited by the State and Regional Managers to present at the Victorian Cash Converters Managers meeting along with a representative of the Victoria Police. We were very thankful to be given the opportunity to meet and speak with the managers of the corporate-owned stores in Victoria, providing them with deeper insight on how we can work together to combat bike theft. 

Since that meeting we have progressed an informal partnership with Cash Converters Victoria, where we offer a higher level of response to aid them in identifying stolen bikes and engaging the police when a stolen bike turns up at their stores. Our growing relationship has been very successful and resulted in multiple stolen bikes being recovered and several suspected bike thieves and handlers being identified and arrested by the police. Here are a few of the Cash Converters driven recoveries as a result of this alliance.

Gizmo Recovered

Gizmo, a Norco Threshold CX bike was stolen from an apartment garage (bike thieves' favorite hunting ground) in Clifton Hill Victoria on 6 August 2018. It was recovered eight days later when a male tried to sell the bike to Cash Converters Melbourne. Fortunately for Gizmo the manager and staff knew to check Bike Vault and quickly identified that Gizmo was a stolen bike. Realising the jig was up, the seller decided to leave empty-handed with the knowledge the Victoria Police were on their way.

Two in two days

When we can we like to meet with recovery victims. On this occasion, we were heading to take a photo of Gizmo with his very happy owner when we met a couple of police members outside Cash Converters Melbourne. They had just recovered another bike that was listed on Bike Vault as stolen and caught the alleged villain.

A very happy student!

This student has Cash Converters Parkdale to thank when his bike was quickly recovered by police after staff realised it was listed as stolen on the Bike Vault website. The attending police from Chelsea Police Station were very happy to snag a villain and later invited us to their training day, where we able to provide their members with a deeper understanding of the services we provide police and how we can help them to combat bike theft.

Sold but still recoverable

Bike identification is not always straightforward and is the reason why our number one core function is to sure up bike identity. We do this via our free registration platform and the bike identification products we sell. This Trek bike slipped through the cracks due to a lack of identification and was purchased by a Cash Converters store and then on-sold.

As a result of an internal audit, Cash Converters identified it as a stolen bike on Bike Vault. Working together with Cash Converters and the police, we were able to track down the purchaser and recover the bike. The police are now investigating the person who sold it to Cash Converters in the first place.

When they know the jig is up, some like to fold and run

The alleged villains tried to sell this stolen Specialized bike to Cash Converters Glenroy. After staff identified the bike as stolen thanks to the Bike Vault website, they contacted the police and Bike Vault. Realising the jig was up, the alleged villains left the store, leaving the bike behind.

Why bike identification is key to combatting profit-driven bike thieves and black market traders!

Targeted bike theft is fuelled by the ease that thieves and black-market traders (knowing handlers of stolen bikes) can profit from selling stolen bikes to unsuspecting purchasers, with little to no fear of the stolen bike being identified and them being caught and prosecuted by the police.

Rapid advancements in bike technology and the growth of the ‘E’ bike segment has led to ever-increasing bike values. This means greater profits for thieves and black-market traders and fuels an even stronger motivation for theft.

The cure to stopping the recidivist bike thieves and black-market traders is to make bikes too hot to handle.

Identification is the key and BikeVAULT in partnership with DataDot Technology has the ultimate solution.

Thief holding a stolen bike marked with iD

Protect your bike ID and ownership with FREE registration on BikeVAULT!

Much more than just a simple database to store your bike details, BikeVAULT (part of PropertyVAULT) provides a secure free portal to comprehensively register your bikes details and ownership history, benefitting from:

  • Full lifecycle digital bike identification with provenance tracking and block-chain encryption.
  • When selling your registered bike, utilise BikeVAULT’s registered bike sale report that can be linked to online selling platforms.  Like a VIN check for a car, the sale report enables a buyer to conduct due diligence, and can potentially lead to higher sale price, when competing against bikes with no discernible history in the crowded second-hand market, littered with stolen bikes.
  • When a registered bike is sold, the registration and logbook can be transferred to the new owner, providing peace of mind to the new owner and ensuring the bike's provenance remains intact.

In the unfortunate event of theft, BikeVAULT comes to the fore providing:

  • A tailored public and police accessible stolen report designed to maximise the odds of recovery;
  • Proven to work - tips, tools, and resources, to aid recovery;
  • A custom stolen bike search portal for the public and police, enabling anyone in Australia to search and identify a stolen bike, regardless of where and when it was stolen and is later found;
  • Social media connectivity and support from BikeVAULT’s large online community, who actively search for and report stolen bikes that are advertised for sale;
  • Support from BikeVAULT's police trained admins, who are experts in bike identification and skilled in asset tracing techniques.

Advanced bike ID to combat cunning thieves

The manufacturer's bike identification frame number, whilst adequate for warranty purposes is not designed to defeat thieves and with many bikes being only a label is susceptible to manipulation. 

The photo below shows a bike seized by police that had the original frame number label removed from underneath the clearcoat and replaced with a crude fake label.  

The thieves were more brazen with this bike below, recently sold at a police auction in Victoria.  In this case, the label was painted over and the stamped in frame number was ground down, which makes it very obvious that the bike is stolen but doesn’t help to identify the bike and trace it back to the owner.

To address lacking bike identification, BikeVAULT has partnered with DataDot Technology, the world leader in advanced anti-theft asset identification solutions to develop the VAULT range of BIKE ID KIT's.

The premium BIKE ID KIT+ (RRP $34.95) sold separately and supplied complimentary with every VAULT premium lock, includes DataDotDNA micro identification, which is used globally by major car manufacturers, including Subaru in Australia and Toyota in Europe as an effective means to combat theft.

The BIKE ID KIT+ when applied and locked to a bike registered on BikeVAULT, provides OVERT, COVERT, STEALTH, INVISIBLE and DIGITAL identification to the whole bike, making it near impossible to be de-identified and easily traced by police if stolen and later found.


Take action - start protecting your bike and ownership today!

Join BikeVAULT and Register your bike for free now and consider protecting your bike further by purchasing a VAULT lock and BIKE ID KIT from one of our growing number of bike shop dealers, or from our online store.  


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