VICTORIA -- Greater Victoria residents who own bicycles can now register their bikes through a new app to help find it if it's stolen.

Victoria police are transitioning away from their local bike registration program to the online Project 529 Garage app. The free app makes it easier for residents to register their bikes, keep their bike information up to date and upload photos of their property from home, without needing to speak with police staff.

App users can also be notified if other bikes are stolen in the area, and are encouraged to check the registry when they are purchasing a bike to see if it was reported stolen.

"The transition to Project 529 is a 'win-win' for the community and the police," said VicPD in an announcement Tuesday.

Project 529 Garage is already used by other police departments in Canada, including on Vancouver Island and B.C.'s Lower Mainland, according to Victoria police.

The police department says that Victoria's previous bike registration program was labour-inducive and required resources from VicPD staff and reserve constables.

Reserve constables are now contacting anyone who was registered on VicPD's previous bike registry and are notifying them that they should switch over to the Project 529 Garage app.

"Reserves have also reached out to local bicycle shops in Victoria and Esquimalt, who were valuable partners in the success of the VicPD Bike Registry to thank them for their partnership," said the police department.

"VicPD officers will continue to respond to and investigate bicycle thefts."

All information collected through VicPD's previous bike registry will be deleted by June 30.