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SAVE YOUR E-BIKE: What Collier County deputies want you to do to thwart thieves

The Collier County Sheriff's office says since 2021, more than 113 e-bikes have been stolen in Collier County. So they're partnering with a group that can help to better protect your hobby.
Posted at 5:44 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 17:44:39-04

NAPLES, Fla — The Collier County Sheriff's Office is teaming up with an online non-profit organization to tackle the issue of e-bike thefts, following several recent incidents in Naples.

E-bikes are super fun to ride, but they're also expensive. And lately, more people are trying to steal them. The sheriff's office is now working with BikeIndex.org, a national nonprofit bike registration website.

The organization reports it has recovered over $25,199,255 worth of bikes.

“This partnership will help our deputies identify and recover stolen bikes, return them to their rightful owners and arrest those responsible,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.

Bikeindex.org will offer free registration for e-bikes, which can make it easier for deputies to find them if they get stolen.

Bike Index Electric Bike Registry Bicycle
Bike Index: Electric Bike Registry Bicycle

E-bikes are typically equipped with unique serial numbers.

Skip Batolato, the owner of the local e-bike shop Pedego in Naples, explained that those serial numbers are what can be used to track the bikes.

"They're expensive, so if people can get their hands on them - people that don’t wanna buy one and they’re unscrupulous, they’re going to try to steal one," Batolato explained.

E-Bike Bicycle Naples Pedagogo
Pedagogo shop owner Skip Batoleto shows off an e-bike in Naples. Since 2021, more than 113 e-bikes have been reported stolen in Collier County, according to the Sheriff's office. Less than 30 percent of owners could provide serial numbers to deputies.

E-bike batteries are expensive, and Batolato says they have tracking numbers for those too. While not familiar with BikeIndex.org, he said his shop employs a similar tracking system.

"Our batteries are registered as well, so if something goes missing and it shows up under kind of fishy circumstances, we can track where it came from," Batolato explained.

Electric Bike E-Bike Batteries Naples
An example of the battery used to power e-bikes in Naples.

Since 2021, more than 113 e-bikes have been reported stolen in Collier County, according to the Sheriff's office. Less than 30 percent of owners could provide serial numbers to deputies.

The online registration system allows you to submit detailed information about your e-bike, including the serial number, year, make, model, and frame size/material/color.

Deputies advise that in addition to registering the bike, you should keep updated photos of it, always lock it up, and remove the battery when you’re not using it for a long time.