The Belgian city of Mechelen has to deal with a high number of bicycle thefts. Infsoft and their partner Epico decided to create a solution for this problem. To secure the bicycle, the user can equip it with a beacon. The beacon can be stowed in the saddle tube so that it remains invisible to the thieves. In case the bicycle is not reported as stolen, the data collected by the beacon remains in the police’s database for three months. When the bicycle gets reported as stolen, the police will be able to track the movements of the bicycle.

The Use of Beacons

Police have installed 40 infsoft Locator Nodes across the city. These are placed in strategic locations in the city center and arterial roads. When the stolen bicycle passes one of these locations, the Locator Node detects the beacon and an alarm will be triggered. The database will then collect and store all the places and times the bicycle was sighted. This data can then be matched with the images of existing CCTV cameras. In many cases, this will offer the possibility to identify the thief.

By introducing beacons as a solution for tracking stolen bicycles, users are able to maintain their privacy, retrieve their stolen bicycles in a reliable way and identify the thieves. Moreover, this system is also affordable for the user: The beacons can be purchased at low cost from the police.

The use of beacons for locating stolen bicycles is innovative and easy. It increases the possibility for the citizens of Mechelen to retrieve their bike. Stolen bicycles will no longer need to be lost forever.