Mug shots of lost or stolen bicycles recovered by the Menlo Park Police Department will be on the web soon.
Menlo Park police have a room for the storage of recovered bikes and within a week or two, partial pictures of these bikes will be going up on the police department website using the photo-sharing application Instagram, police spokeswoman Nicole Acker said.
As is the case when retrieving lost items generally, the would-be owner will have to demonstrate detailed knowledge of the bike's features to prove ownership, Ms. Acker said. The department has about 30 bikes currently.
Initially developed as a smartphone application, Instagram also allows photos to be viewed from a computer. The police department home page will include a link to Instagram, so a smartphone won't be necessary to view photos, Ms. Acker said.
Police announced the Instagram initiative in a statement about the capture and detention of four youths seen entering an open garage on Hedge Road on Sept. 2 at around 6:15 p.m. and stealing a bike that they later discarded.
A witness to the incident described the youths and that they had been seen running through Flood Park, information that police used to identify and arrest them. The youths "admitted to the crime and admitted to going to this area to steal bicycles," police said.
All four were booked into the Hillcrest juvenile detention center on suspicion of burglary and conspiracy charges, police said. Investigators are examining the possibility that the youths are connected to other bicycle thefts in the area, police said.
Victims of bike theft can find out if their bikes have been found by calling the Property and Evidence Unit of the Menlo Park Police Department at 330-6334.