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Cyclists taken for a ride

Maureen Bronjes had her brand new $4000 Trek bike stolen a week ago.

Maureen Bronjes had her brand new $4000 Trek bike stolen a week ago. Photo: Melissa Adams

BICYCLE thefts in Canberra increased by 12 per cent in the past year, according to police.

With the value of each bike averaging $900, it means thieves stole more than $420,000 worth of rides in the past year, or tens of thousands of dollars more than the previous 12 months.

Some bicycles were stolen in daylight while others - as in the case of Maureen Bronjes - were pinched from inside locked vehicles in secure underground car parks of unit developments.

Ms Bronjes has flooded Canberra bike shops with posters since her $4000 Trek bicycle, plus her helmet and shoes, were stolen on the same night 13 cars were broken into in the car park of her Greenway unit complex.

''My ultimate goal is to find the perpetrators,'' said Ms Bronjes, whose bicycle was uninsured because she was shopping for another insurer.

The Canberra Times has launched a map showing the hot spots for bicycle thefts throughout the territory. Readers are also invited to email us with details such as where and when their bicycles were stolen, together with serial number, colour and brand.

 

The newspaper, via its Facebook page The Lycra Diaries, can alert the public to be on the lookout for stolen bicycles within minutes of them being taken.

ACT Policing's crime prevention officer in charge, Sergeant Joanne Cameron, said it was important for the community to share real-time information about stolen bicycles and theft hot spots.

Civic and suburbs in the inner north had the most number of bicycles stolen. From April 2011 to March this year, there were 112 bicycles stolen from Civic, 71 from Braddon, 60 from Acton, and 23 each from Turner and O'Connor. Other hot spots include Belconnen (58), Phillip (27), Kingston (26) and Griffith (20).

''It can help cyclists become more aware of security issues,'' Sergeant Cameron said.

It is important that any incidents of theft are still reported to ACT Policing on 131 444.

Has your bicycle been stolen? Email sunday@canberratimes.com.au and tell us about it.

ACT POLICING'S TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BIKE SECURE

1. Never leave your bike unattended at the shops, parks or playgrounds, even for a short while.

2. Make sure the chain secures the front and rear wheels.

3. Store your bike in a secure cage at home.

4. Record the bike's details with photos and written details of brand and the serial number, which is under the crank shaft between the pedals.

5. Record identifiers, such as nicks and dents.

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