Bike thieves now modify serial numbers to foil recovery efforts

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Portland Police say bike thieves are getting more sophisticated than ever, now modifying serial numbers to foil recovery efforts.

Serial numbers on bikes are the last line of defense against bike thieves. But Portland Police now say they found a stolen bike with the 1s in the serial number changed to 7s. It seems small, but it can deter police efforts to return bikes to their rightful owners.

"It's kind of a sophistication that we haven't really seen, I haven't seen at this point yet, so obviously someone is taking the time to get the tools to do this, which is really unique," Dave Sanders with PPB said.

Police say the modifications were easy to spot with a closer look, but they also say far too many people don't know their bike's serial number to begin with.

You can register your bike online.


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