People in McAlester will soon have to register their bikes with the city if they want to ride around town legally.
Police said this update to a city ordinance could help victims get their stolen bikes back. Over the past few years, the city has collected nearly 150 bikes, most of which are sitting in a storage room.
The problem is police have no idea who the rightful owners are.
"We would love to return any bicycle that's missing,” McAlester Police Chief Gary Wansick said.
Wansick said the city finds stolen and forgotten bikes all the time, and said it's time to update and enforce the city ordinance. He said it has been required for bikes to be registered with the city since the 70s, but it was rarely enforced.
"In the past, the way the ordinance ran, you would have a number stamped into the bicycle. we would actually take a hammer and stamp in the number to the bicycle, and a license plate. But that has not been enforced for years,” Wansick said.
Now people will get a sticker instead of a license plate, and the city will keep record of your serial number.
Wansick said for now, there won't be a fine if you choose not to register. But, if a bike is stolen, he said it will be much easier for police to get it back to the rightful owner if it is found.
We would love to have every bicycle in McAlester registered,” Wansick said. “That would be very helpful for us in trying to locate the owners."
It used to cost $5 to register a bike, but now it's free.
People can get an application online, then bring it to the police department before enjoying their next ride.
The ordinance takes effect the third week of November.