Bike thieves at work in Gulfport
By MIKE BRASSFIELD
© St. Petersburg Times,
GULFPORT -- Bicycles have been disappearing from yards, driveways and garages all over Gulfport, and police say almost all of the stolen bikes were left unsecured.
Since May, police in Gulfport have investigated about 30 bicycle thefts.
"School's out and bicycle thefts are up. We're trying to get the word out," said Gulfport police Sgt. Craig Warner. "People leave them outside unlocked, and nobody keeps their serial numbers."
Bicycles have been stolen from fenced-in lawns and back yards. In some cases, the bike thieves traded out one stolen bike for another -- taking a bike and leaving behind a previously stolen bike for police to find.
A bicycle's serial number is useful for police who are trying to track down a bike once it has been stolen.
"We also encourage people to come down to our bike lockup and see if they see theirs," Warner said.
The Gulfport Police Department offers bicycle registration every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m., and on the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is 25 cents, and people must bring their bikes with them.
Gulfport police offer the following tips for preventing bike thefts:
Always lock your bicycle with a chain or cable when you leave it, even if it is inside a building.
At home, keep your bicycle in a locked garage or inside the house, not in the yard or driveway.
Write down the serial number of your bicycle and keep it among your permanent records.
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