Bicycle thefts are on the rise. Madison police say there have been 80 reports downtown, just since June. But avoiding them might not be as easy as telling people to lock up their property.
Arthur Ross, the pedestrian-bicycle coordinator for the City has a number of important tips all cyclists should follow:
--Never leave your bicycle unlocked for "just a minute."
--Lock your bike in a well-lit, well-traveled location so a thief does not have time to work unobserved on breaking or cutting your lock, cable or chain.
--Lock your bike to fixed object that is secure to the ground and cannot be easily compromised.
--Make sure you lock the frame, not just the wheel.
--Invest in a more durable bike lock with a thick chain and key.
--Report bicycle thefts to the police. It is easier for law enforcement to figure out patterns and catch criminals if officers are aware of the problem.
--Register your bicycle with the City of Madison. Most bikes that are recovered by the police that are registered are returned to their owner. To register your bicycle online, go to http://www.cityofmadison.com/bikemadison/programs/modal/bikeregistrationepay.cfm.