Always report bicycle theft
First of all, report the theft at your local police station. Provide as many details as possible: the factory frame number (usually also provided on your purchase receipt), a full description of your bike and when and where you saw it for the last time, etc. If your bike was engraved with a national registration number or registered (Brussels), let them know. You can also make a report on-line (French, Dutch and German only). Your statement will directly go to the police district of the crime scene.
If your bike is insured, do not forget to contact your insurance company.
Whatever the situation, it is important to always report bicycle theft. Even if your chances to get your bike back remain slim. This for the following reasons:
- If you do ever get to see your bike again, you can only legally reclaim it if you ever reported it stolen in the first place. If not, you will become, in the eyes of the law, a bicycle thief yourself…
- Bicycle theft is notoriously underreported. This makes it difficult to collect precise data. More importantly, it discourages the introduction of new policy and police measures against bike theft.
Tracking down your bike
Once you have made a theft report, keep an eye out for your bike.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Always report bicycle theft! If you do not make a report, but do retrieve your stolen bike, you have no legal right to reclaim your bike from the suspected thief.
- If the theft was committed in Flanders or Brussels, start your search on www.gevondenfietsen.be (Dutch only, but indispensable). If the bike was stolen in Brussels, also consult www.velosretrouves.be (French and Dutch only).
- Also have a look at second-hand sales websites such as eBay and 2emain.be / 2ehands.be.
- Search around garage sales, car-boot sales, markets and shops that sell second-hand goods. Bike stolen in Brussels? Check out these places in Brussels that sell second-hand bikes.