Someone commented on a post a while back that the District’s bike registration laws were ludicrous and needlessly burdensome.
I actually agreed with that- it seems sort of silly and my libertarian heart despises bureacracy. But then I discovered that a friend of mine who is a District resident has had her bike stolen twice, but it was recovered both times. Why? Because she had registered it.
Once, the none-too-bright thief had left the bike chained up outside… down the street from my friend’s house. She saw it was there and called the police. They show up, verify that it is indeed her bike, looked at the boltcutters she was holding and said, “Well, it’s your bike…”
Another time, a guy took the bike to a bike repair shop, who noticed the registration matched a stolen bike. They refused to give it back to the guy who brought it in. “But it’s my bike! I paid for it!” “…And it was stolen.” “But I PAID for it!” So the bike shop calls the police… who inform the angry customer that he had bought a stolen bike, which is called “receiving stolen property,” and is also illegal. How much did he want to press the issue?
But the Prodigal Bike had returned again. So maybe that bike registration thing isn’t so terrible after all.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs