AUSTIN (KXAN) - As more people start to ride their bikes around Austin, police said more opportunities for bike thieves are on the rise.
Officers spent the morning helping people at Whole Foods at 525 North Lamar Blvd. get on their website and register their bicycle information -- all in an effort to help track down stolen bikes.
"You can go on to that website and enter all your bicycle information," said police officer Shelly Borton. "You can even attach a photograph, put it in all your personal identification that's associated with that bike as the owner. Therefore, if your bike is stolen, you've got that number recorded with the police department, which can attach to a bicycle theft report later."
People have to submit a new report every three years, and the Austin Police Department's website advises people to update that report if they sell or get rid of their bike.
Police will help enter the bike's serial number, make and model during Wednesday's free bicycle registration event.
This year alone, there have been 200 bike thefts downtown, according to police.
Officers suggest that people lock their bicycles to a bike rack, but even that won't ensure they'll stay there.
Borton said they've watched surveillance video of people cutting locks and stealing bikes in less than 10 seconds.
"I really wish I had taken the time and had known about the bike registry," said Cloyd Dowling, whose bike was stolen. "It might have saved me a little grief about it, especially you know because I don't have my bike anymore."
Dowling said he and his girlfriend were moving out of their apartment in East Austin. They had packed up all of their items and were in the process of moving all of their boxes.
"I go one morning to pick up my stuff, and our garage had been broken into. And both of my bikes were gone," said Dowling. "It was a little of a shock and a surprise, especially because those were items to be transported to our new place."
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