As a retired TPD sergeant, I see that history does indeed repeat. In the '70's and 80's, TPD had a mandatory bike licensing program which was redesigned as an owner-initiated bike ID program. For years we actually had a fulltime bike larceny detective assigned to work stolen bikes, but realized that forcing folks to license their bikes was an administrative problem and punished bike owners who chose not to license. So in keeping with departments around the Southwest, we dropped the compulsory requirement and made it optional. We advertised using one's driver's license number and provided engraving pens at each police substation, but response was sketchy at best. In my opinion, there are only 2 ways to combat this constant problem. 1- Eliminate larceny from the hearts of so many, 2- take personal responsibility to photo and engrave ALL your personal property, not just the bikes. (Both most unlikely).
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.