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An increase in bicycle thefts is prompting local law enforcement to brief residents and provide tips to safeguard bikes.

According to a post by the Morris Police Department, a rash of bicycle thefts have occurred in the Morris area and gave some helpful things to keep in mind to protect your bike. Officials recommend documenting the bike’s serial number, as it is the best way to prove ownership and an accurate avenue for law enforcement to track it.

Police also suggest taking a photo of your bike and leaving it locked up in a well-lit & secure area when unattended. Finally, the best deterrent to keep a bike secure is if it is inside a garage, shed, or house when not in use. The post said some victims don’t report bikes stolen because it doesn’t have significant monetary value, but police are urging residents to report any bicycle theft incident – adding they want to prosecute whoever is committing the thefts.

Also, the department said they’ve recovered several found bikes and encourage those who’ve had a bike stolen to call 815-942-2131 to see if one of them is yours. Officials advise that if you see a bicycle theft in progress, witness them flee, or see someone with your missing bike, call 911 and be ready to give the dispatcher your location, the suspect’s clothing description, and direction of travel.