This is Why You License Your Bike!

UC Davis student Sidra Ali locks up her bicycle.
UC Davis student Sidra Ali locks up her bicycle. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Six people arrested, dozens of stolen bicycles recovered — but only a few students have gotten their bikes back.

The return rate probably could be higher if owners had licensed their bikes. Campus police, for example, recently reviewed license records to try to match UC Davis students, staff and faculty to 31 bicycles that Dixon police recovered. Only five of those bikes turned up in the campus database, according to Detective Mark Tingley said only five of those bikes

He said he’s contacted four of the registered owners, and two of them retrieved their bikes from the Dixon Police Department.


  • Get a good quality lock, and always lock your bicycle to a fixed bicycle stand.
  • Get a bicycle license (required for bicycles on campus). Having a license makes it much easier for police to identify stolen property and return it to owners.
  • If your bicycle is stolen, file an online crime report with campus police. This makes it easier for police to return your bike to you.   

Tingley suspects more of the stolen bikes may belong to students, but if the bikes were never registered, he has no way to find the owners.

If you’re riding a bike on campus, your bike must have a California bike license. See information below on where to get a license and when to renew (they expire on Dec. 31 in the second year after purchase).

Arrest at Solano Park

Dixon police made two arrests in connection with the cache of stolen bikes found in a box truck on Dec. 5, and campus police have made four arrests since Dec. 8, the most recent last Thursday, Jan. 7, at Solano Park student housing.

Police said they responded at about 8:30 a.m. to reports from residents and a groundskeeper saying they were suspicious of a man who appeared to be looking at bicycles.

The callers gave a description of the man, and police said they caught up with him as he rode a bike through the apartment complex.

The bike turned out to be registered to a Solano Park resident, according to police. The bike had been taken from an apartment patio, officers said.

Police said they arrested Thomas Jones, 40, of Sacramento for investigation of bike theft and on a warrant out of Sacramento.

Read about the other arrests on campus.

Bike licenses

California bike licenses ($10) are available from UC Davis Transportation Services, in the TAPS Building, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and from these participating bike shops in Davis:

  • Green Bicycle Depot, 965 Olive Drive, Suite G
  • Ken’s Bike-Ski-Board, 650 G St.
  • B&L Bike Shop, 610 Third St. (only for bikes purchased at B&L)

Licenses are valid through Dec. 31 of the second year after issue. So, for example, licenses purchased in 2013 are no longer valid, having expired on Dec. 31, 2015.

You can find your registration’s expiration date on the sticker labeled “California License Renewal” on your bike. A renewal costs $5 and, if purchased this year, will be valid through Dec. 31, 2018.

More information is available online:

Contact the bicycle coordinator by phone, (530) 752-2453, or email,

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media Resources

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,

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