Dear Chief O’Toole,
The Seattle Police Department needs to make it easier to file a claim for stolen bikes. While you can file a claim for a bike stolen under $500 online, for a bike valued more than that you need to call and the call-in experience leaves a lot to be desired. You should be able to file a claim, online, regardless of the value of the bike.
I had my bike stolen on last Saturday. I promptly called the SPD’s non-emergency number, finally connected with an operator, who offered that I could either have an officer come visit me in person to file a claim or I could do it over the phone. Not wanting to waste SPD’s resources with an in-home visit I opted to do it on the phone but it turns out you can’t file a claim over the phone on the weekend. I would need to call back Monday.
So I called back Monday. Numerous times. But each time the phone rang and rang. I eventually connected with an operator Monday afternoon only to be told no one was available to take a claim over the phone but I could have someone come out. Again, not wanting to waste SPD resources, I declined the in-home visit, she suggested I call back in the morning. I called the next morning. Again had a hard time connecting with an operator. Finally did only to discover that they simply take your number and then an officer calls you back.
I eventually get a call from an officer and filed my claim. I know that it is unlikely that I’ll get my bike back via this route but I feel it is important it is logged how often a bike is stolen and from where. It’d be great if the SPD could allow bike victims to report any bike theft, regardless of value, online.
p.s. if you find a 2014 Cannondale Bad Boy with blue brake levers, let me know!