Police, local bike shop 'sticking' it to thieves
VANCOUVER, Wash. - Toy monkeys of all kinds are scattered throughout the Bad Monkey shop, ranging from stuffed animals to little action-figures.
They are strange tokens of appreciation, and they are mostly gifts from customers. It's a quirky way for them to express loyalty.
"The community has supported me. The reason I've been open for five years is the community has supported me," says Wade Leckie.
Leckie has found a way to return the favor by supplying bike stickers as part of the "Money Shield" program to help stop bike thieves. A sticker on a bike means it has been registered.
Bike registration is nothing new, but Vancouver police noticed many bike owners weren't doing it and weren't recording the bike's serial number. So if a stolen bike was recovered, there was no way to get it back to its owner.
"The police have come to me a few times about dealing with stolen bikes," says Leckie, who helped create the sticker registration program.
He has handed out the stickers to his own customers for years and completed the registration process for them. He happily agreed to expand that to any cyclist when Vancouver police asked him to.
"It's one of those things I can do to give back to the community, and I'm happy to do it," he says.
Thieves might get to know the sticker and get the message.
"The hope is that this will be a deterrent," Leckie says. "They'll see that it's registered and not steal it."
The sticker is very difficult to remove once put on a bike.
Leckie has taken on the task of running this registration system himself. Vancouver police are covering some costs like printing the stickers.