Registration, Theft & Crashes
The City of Lincoln Police Department offers Bike Registration which can help in the recovery of stolen bicycles.
When you register your bike online, you will need to know the serial number on your bike. The serial number is generally located on the bottom of the bike frame under the bottom bracket (where the pedals and crank attach to the frame). It is important that this number is recorded accurately.
Many older bikes, however, do not have serial numbers. In this case it is very important to have an accurate description of your bike as well as any distinguishing marks which would make it stand out.
To report a theft to the City of Lincoln Police Department, call 402-441-6000.
If your bicycle is registered, please inform the officer that you bike is registered. In addition, be sure to inform them of your serial number and any distinguishing or unique characteristics of the bike.
Anyone reporting a stolen bicycle will receive a letter approximately one week following the report informing them of the next steps. Included in this letter is information on how to contact the tow-lot where found bikes are housed.
The City of Lincoln also offers an online reporting system, however, online reporting is for limited circumstances (such as the value of the theft is less than $500). To determine if this service would work for you, please see the guidelines below.
Online reporting is NOT available if you answer yes to any of these questions:
- Is this an EMERGENCY situation? (call 911)
- Is this a crime in progress?
- Is anyone physically hurt or immediately threatened?
- Did this crime occur outside the City of Lincoln?
- Is the person reporting this crime less than 18 years of age?
- Are there any known suspects? (includes vague descriptions or vehicle license numbers)
- Is the value of the loss or damage $500 or more?
- Was a weapon involved (gun, knife, or other)?
- Is this a motor vehicle accident?
- Did the suspect break into your house or garage?
- Do you want an officer to respond in person?
If you responded yes to any of these questions or are still unsure if online reporting is right for you, please call 911 if it is an emergency, or for non-emergency situations call 402-441-6000 for assistance.
Bicycle Recovery Process
For a Registered Bicycle
- When the Lincoln Police Department receives a registered bicycle, the bike is checked against the Bicycle Registration Database. The serial number is used to identify the bicycle within this database. Please inform the officer that your bike is registered when reporting a stolen bicycle.
- A letter is sent to the registered owner's last known address notifying them of the recovery of their bicycle.
Note: Always remember to update your Bicycle Registration address every time you move. This way you are more likely to have your bicycle returned to you.
- If the letter is returned as undeliverable, all reasonable effort is made to find the registered owner's new address.
- If no address is found, the bicycle is treated as unregistered.
For an Unregistered Bicycle
- When the Lincoln Police Department receives an unregistered bicycle, the bike is checked against the Stolen Property Reports.
Note: ALWAYS file a Stolen Property Report if your bike is stolen. Without the report, there is no record of the theft.
- If the bike matches the description in a Stolen Property Report, the individual is contacted and asked to provide the serial number of their stolen bicycle to prove that it is the correct bike.
- If the individual does not have the serial number, a very detailed description can suffice to return the bike to its owner.
Note: Remember, the more detailed the description of your bicycle (scratches, stickers & dents as well as make & size), the more likely the bike will be returned to you.
- The LPD holds onto all unclaimed bicycles for 30 days. During this time, the owner may check with the tow-lot (where found bikes are kept) to see if their bicycle has been found.
- If 30 days have passed and the bicycle has still not been claimed, the bike is:
- requested to go to auction if ridable
- requested to be destroyed if unridable, structurally damaged or unsafe.
If You Are Involved in a Crash
- Stop immediately; it's against the law to leave the scene of a crash without identifying yourself and giving assistance.
- Help anyone injured; if needed, call 911.
- Ask witnesses to identify themselves.
- If a motor vehicle is involved, record the driver's name, phone number, insurance information, a description of the car, and a license plate number.
- Call Police. If a crash involves a motor vehicle and has resulted in injury or property damage exceeding $1,000, be sure to report the incident to the police.