08/28/2013 11:35 EDT | Updated 10/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Bike theft: a free and fast way to protect yourself

Bike theft is problem in any city, but instead of "stealing" your bike back, a community policing centre says there is another solution.

Last week, Vancouver resident Kayla Smith met up with her bike thief after seeing her bicycle listed on Craigslist and then used the opportunity to "steal" her bike back.

Vancouver police say officers will facilitate a bike recovery if they're called to help, and warned it could be dangerous to act on your own.

Members of the Kerrisdale Oakridge Marpole Community Policing Centre say they have just the solution for you — if you don't mind a little marking on your bike.

The centre's Jeremy Sally told The EarlyEdition's Jason D'Souza they offer free bike registration for all cyclists.

The process includes:

- photographs of all unique traits of the bike logged into a computer system.

- registering the owner's personal information with the bike.

- engraving the cyclist's B.C. I.D or Driver's License onto the frame of the bike.