Property marking success as stolen bike returned to rightful owner

A suspected stolen bike has been returned to its rightful owner in York, thanks to an innovative new property marking project.

Recovered bike

On Saturday 29 August 2015, officers attended a report of a cycle being left outside a property in Lord Mayor’s Walk.

Fortunately the bike had already been marked using one of four new ‘dot peen’ property marking machines that have been rolled out across the city.

Officers were able to recover it, and reunite it with its rightful owner in Clifton, before it had even been reported stolen.

Enquiries are now ongoing to identify those responsible for taking the bike.

Inspector Lee Pointon, of York Police, said: “This is a great success for our dot peen property marking scheme. Without the marking, this bike may never have been returned to its owner.

“Marking your property is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from being a victim of crime – and, as this case goes to show, it makes it far more likely that we will be able to return your property to you.”

In the six weeks since the dot peen project began, officers marked more than 1,000 items, including 727 garden and allotment tools, 234 cycles and dozens of assorted gadgets such as cameras, games consoles and speakers.

Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number is entered onto the national Immobilise property register database, vastly increasing the chances that it will be reunited with its owner if it is lost or stolen.

The dot peen machines were funded by North Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, and Safer York Partnership.

For more information, visit To find out when your next property marking event is taking place, follow your local York police team on Twitter at @snayorkcityeast, @snayorknorth or@snayorkwest. The service is promoted on Twitter with the hashtag#whatisdotpeen

You can also install North Yorkshire Police’s free home security web app, BurglarProof, at And you can download our interactive home security iBook – just search for “Securing your home” on iTunes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.