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.
Go to tinyurl.com/Bike402 to see a sample photo of a recovered bike. The sample shows only the handlebars.
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 connection with 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 said they were seen running through Flood Park. 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, police said. Investigators are examining the possibility that the youths are connected to other bicycle thefts in the area.
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.
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