SEATTLE - Nearly 600 bicycles are inside Seattle Police Department's evidence warehouse, and Sergeant Cindy Granard says more bikes come in every week.
"We are literally tripping on bicycles," said Sgt. Granard. "Some of it is stolen, some of it is recovered evidence, some of it is lost and found. Each bike has its own story."
Currently, SPD has more than 200 found bicycles. Detective Michael Whidbey said the goal is to help people get their bike back. About a year ago, the department began using Twitter to help find rightful owners.
"I was pretty excited when it actually worked," said Det. Whidbey.
About a month after @GetYourBikeBack was launched on Twitter, a bike owner was reunited with her property. Over the course of a year, a total of three people have been reunited with their bikes.
"The momentum is starting to build," said Det. Whidbey, who added that the Twitter account has nearly 700 followers.
People have at least 60 days to reclaim what's theirs, but after that bikes will be auctioned off or donated.
One group benefiting from Seattle police donations is the Village Bicycle Project. The charity collects bikes and delivers them to Africa as a way to help reduce poverty, according to Operations Director Meg Watson.
"I am sorry for the owners who have lost these fabulous bikes, but the bikes will have a new life," said Watson.
Sgt. Granard offers this advice:
- After purchasing your bike, take pictures of the paperwork, serial number, model and unique features
- Use a good bike lock
- Lock up your bike in locations that are well lit and where others can see it
Learn more about the Get Your Bike Back program.