Lancaster had the highest number of bike thefts across West Lancashire last year, according to new figures just released.
In Lancaster and the surrounding district, 782 bikes were stolen in 2015, compared with 591 in Blackpool, 172 in Fylde and 239 in Wyre.
Police have launched a campaign which will see officers carrying out bike coding and handing out postcards with advice on how to prevent bicycles being stolen.
Sgt Dave Sherrington said: “In 2015, 3,852 bicycles were reported stolen across Lancashire with a value of £1,813,511.
“This is only the thefts which were reported to police – we actually believe there are more thefts which remain unreported.
“It appears that the recent rise in the purchase of expensive high-tech bikes is fuelling the thefts – the most expensive bike stolen last year was worth over £10,000.
“We think that many of these thefts could have been prevented if owners had locked their bike up securely. Please prevent yourself from becoming a victim of bike theft by following some simple security measures. Don’t make it easy for thieves.”
Officers are advising cyclists to:
*Never leave their bike unlocked;
*Lock their bike through the frame and the wheels;
*Use a good quality lock, such as a solid steel D-shaped shackle lock;
*When out, lock their bike to something solid like a lamppost or railings;
*If they have quick release wheels, take off the front wheel and lock it to the frame and back wheel;
*Consider getting their bikes security marked so that police can check who it belongs to and return it to them if it has been stolen;
*Think about taking out insurance cover for their bike;
*Register their bike for free at www.bikeregister.com – the only police approved cycle database.
A video to encourage cyclists to keep their bikes safe has also been launched and can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPDnIeZp4Nw
If you see anything suspicious or have any information about who might be stealing or handling stolen bikes then please contact police on 101 or if you would prefer to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Find out more about keeping your bike safe at www.lancashire.police.uk/biketheft.