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28/05/2012 // INFO Leave a comment

Web series looks to catch a bike thief


To Catch a Bike Thief

There is nothing more we like than making life hard for bike thieves here on Going Going Bike, so we wholeheartedly support the funding project of a group of Canadian cyclists who want to create a series of web-based TV programmes called “To Catch a Bike Thief”.

The web series aims to chronicle the adventures of the To Catch a Bike Thief team as they attempt to recover GPS tracked bait bikes they constructed themselves.  In some cases, the team attempt to chase the thief down using their own interceptor squad.

Pilot episode

A pilot episode has been completed (see that episode here, supplementary video footage here), but the guys need funding of $20,000 to complete the whole first full season of their show.

The full series of episodes for the season will aim to get an understanding of the big picture of bike theft as well as raise awareness about bike theft, promote discussion, and explore ways that individuals and communities can protect themselves against theft.

Raising funds

The To Catch a Bike Thief team are using the crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to try and raise the $20,000 they need to complete the full season of their To Catch a Bike Thief programmes.

“I’m constantly surprised at the level of support and encouragement we receive from everyone in the cycling community for our project,” Broderick Albright, a member of the To Catch a Bike Thief team, told Going Going Bike.

The idea

Broderick explained to us that the To Catch a Bike Thief team began experimenting with GPS tracking technologies for bicycles in early 2011 and constructed their first bait bike in June 2011. During that summer, production of the pilot programme began when the group tested their DIY bait bike. They ran round the clock stakeouts, waiting for a thief to cut the lock so the To Catch a Bike Thief team intercept team could hop onto their bikes and chase the stolen bait bike.

The GPS tracker in the bait bike has a vibration sensor that activates the tracker once the lock is cut. The tracker then broadcasts its real time location every 10 seconds to a mapping server accessed through a web application. The To Catch a Bike Thief squad designates a “dispatcher” to coordinate with the intercept team in the field via two way radios as they look to stop the thief.

The To Catch a Bike Thief team hired security guards on bicycles to be on hand when confronting bike thieves. The security detail aren’t there to make arrests, but to observe, report and deter any potential violent behaviour to protect the intercept team.

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See also

The Wheelie Good Round-Up

Win tickets for Tour de Latitude and the Latitude Festival

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