POLICE have reported a spike in bicycle thefts in Horsham this year.
Horsham Leading Senior Constable Linda McLennan said 94 per cent more bicycles had been reported stolen this financial year to date than during the 2012-13 financial year.
"There have been 31 bicycle thefts in Horsham this financial year so far," she said.
"Three of the thefts have been cleared.
"The majority of bikes have been stolen from the front yards of homes in the evenings, or overnight on weeknights."
She urged people to ramp up their bicycle security to discourage opportunistic thieves.
"Remember to always lock your bike to a secure object or bike rack, even if it is at school or the shops," she said.
"Do not lock your bike to something that can easily be cut, such as a wire fence or a tree branch."
Leading Sen Const McLennan said it was preferable for people to lock their bikes in a public area, where onlookers might spot anything dodgy.
"But be careful not to block ramps or footpaths when you are locking your bike to an object," she said.
"Lock as much of your bike as you can a cable lock can usually go around your bike frame, back wheel and a solid object, and you can remove your front wheel to lock that, too."
She encouraged parents to help by ensuring their children had a bike lock or chain.
Engraving the bike with a family member's driver's licence number preceded by the letter V, and recording the bike's frame number, could also assist.
"Frame numbers are usually stamped underneath the bicycle's lower bracket," Leading Sen Const McLennan said.
"Often police get bicycles handed in and cannot find an owner because the theft was not reported by the victim, or there was no identifying mark. "If your bike gets stolen, report it to police.
"If you hear of someone stealing bikes or know of someone who is stealing bikes, you can speak to your school teachers or the police confidentially, or report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.''
Leading Sen Const McLennan said police also needed to be notified if a bike reported lost or stolen was found.
She said people could call Horsham Police Station on 53829200 and ask for the property officer to find out if their bike had been located.
"You will need to inform them of the date the bicycle went missing and provide a description," she said.
"There are a number of unclaimed bicycles at the station."