Aspen Police Bait Bike Program
Beginning July 13, 2013 the Aspen Police Department will begin using a GPS enabled bait bike to deter bicycle theft within the City of Aspen. The department has decided to take a proactive step toward preventing bicycle theft after witnessing a 30% increase in thefts from 2011 to 2012, from 61 to 89. Since May of this year alone the department has logged 33 bicycle theft reports.
The Aspen Police Department has modeled their program after the University of Wisconsin Police Department’s bait bike program. According to Sergeant Aaron Chapin with the UWPD, their program has decreased bicycle theft reports by nearly 50% since its implementation in 2008, from around 100 reports per year to approximately 40 to 50 per year. The number of arrests made each year for bicycle thefts on their campus has also increased significantly. The UWPD believes that the bait bike program may also decrease overall theft, assuming that bicycle thieves are more likely to perpetrate other types of theft as well. “Our department seeks innovative approaches to crime reduction,” said Chief of Police Richard Pryor, “this program is a step in the right direction for our community.”
The Aspen Police Department will launch one GPS enabled bicycle on July 13, 2013. This unit will be placed at different locations around the city that have been identified as hotspots for bicycle theft. If the device is moved the Aspen Police will be alerted of the activity. Officers will then be able to track in real time where the bicycle is, similar to Apple’s Find My iPhone application. The Aspen Police will also implement a public information campaign to accompany the bait bike program in the coming weeks. “We’re not simply looking to catch people in the act, we want to prevent bicycle theft from happening to begin with.” said Pryor. The goal of the public information campaign will be to educate the community about the bait bike program, encourage the use of heavy-duty “u” style locks over cable locks, and to deter potential bicycle thieves. Educational brochures as well as stickers and bicycle seat covers reading “Thinking about stealing a bike? It could be a bait bike.” will be distributed throughout the bicycle community as a deterrent. Educational signage and information regarding bicycle theft prevention will also be posted at various locations within the city.
Registering Your Bicycle
Bicycle Identification: If your bike is stolen, its serial number is needed in order to aid police in its recovery. When a bike is registered with the Aspen Police Department, the serial number can be cross-referenced with the bike owner's name, acting as independent proof of ownership.
Recovered bicycles that are not registered have less chance of being returned to their rightful owners, since proof of ownership is often more difficult.
Theft Deterrence: Thieves may be less likely to steal a bike with a registration sticker since its owner can easily be identified. Stolen registered bicycles are posted on both statewide and
nationwide crime computers.
You can register your bicycle:
- Online at www.aspenpolice.com
- In person at the Aspen Police Department
For further questions about registering your bicycle, call the Aspen Police Department
at (970) 920-5400.
Annual Crime Statistics
The Aspen Police Department now has available past annual crime statistic reports. Please click on the year for Aspen crime statistics.
Use of Force Statistics
There is no uniform methodology for the recording of police use of force statistics. One agency may have a more stringent reporting requirement than another. The Aspen Police Department has a requirement that officers report use of force in any incident where force other than standard handcuffing occurs.
2009 Data and Trends
The Aspen Police Department’s "Annual Report" reviews the past year in the hopes of answering questions from the community and outlines where we are going in the future in the effort to share our vision.
Policy Review and Evidence Audit
The Aspen Police received the results of their external audit, completed by Professional Police Consulting, LLC, on Tuesday, June 1. The audit, performed by Dan Montgomery and Kim Barron, consisted of a review of the Aspen Police Department’s policy and procedures manual and a physical inspection of a random assortment of 172 items including currency, narcotics, firearms, and other evidence. Chief Richard Pryor, in conjunction with assistant chiefs Linda Consuegra and Bill Linn, has reviewed the report and share it with the public below.
Evidence Audit (Redacted)