Bikes a hot item in burglaries, thefts

Bikes taken in burglaries and thefts are showing a sharp increase through the first six months of the year.

Evanston police are continuing to see crime trend down overall but one area, bikes taken in thefts and burglaries, has shown a spike in incidents, the department is reporting.

Crime has dropped roughly 11 percent through the first six months of this year, though showing a 2 percent increase in June.

However, police are focusing on an increase in bikes taken in burglaries and thefts.

So far this year, bikes have been stolen in 35 percent of all burglaries compared to 23 percent for all burglaries in 2013, the department said, in a report issued June 24.

Overall, bike thefts have accounted for 20 percent of all thefts this year, compared to 14 percent last year.

Burglaries and thefts to bicycles are largely “crimes of opportunities,” said Cmdr. Jay Parrott, department spokesperson, and don’t grow out of “the well-planned strategies of professionals.”

In the last month alone, most bicycles have been stolen from unlocked garages or in common areas where bikes have been left unlocked, he said.

Police advise use of a U-lock to secure a bike, or even two locks.

Bike owners can also register their bike, increasing the chance of getting them back if stolen.

To register a bike, go to www/cityofevanston.org/police/bicycle-registration.

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