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SAVANNAH, GA (September 23, 2010): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are on the trail of two-wheeling thieves with a warning to bicyclists who believe steel cable locks are keeping their rides secure. They aren’t.

Police investigated thefts of 14 bicycles in a nine-day period and all but two were secured by a lock with a chain or cable. Three of them were secured to a fence or railing that was broken off to allow the theft. In one case, a neighbor saw thieves hoisting a stolen bicycle over a fence. When the neighbor yelled, the thieves ran, then dropped the stolen bike. Police found three other stolen bicycles  and a bolt cutter in the vicinity.

Most of the bicycles have been stolen from students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, many from racks set up for the students at SCAD locations. Thefts usually occur between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., except for those stolen from porches. Those thefts were reportedly made between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

So far this year, 252 bicycles have been reported stolen to SCMPD.

Police advise bicyclists to record the serial numbers and detailed descriptions of their bicycles and to use tubular steel locks rather than chains or cables if possible. Better yet, storing the bicycles in a building, where possible, decreases the possibilities of thefts. Police recommend engraving owners’ drivers license numbers into the frames of the bicycles. Officers occasionally hold events to provide engravers to attach identifying marks.

In addition, suggests Central Precinct Crime Prevention Officer SCpl. Tony Lopez, consider writing your name, phone number, drivers license number or ID card number on a piece of tape and inserting it into the seat stem or handlebars. This provides quick identification should the bike be stolen and recovered.

While bicycles seem easy to lift, they are not inexpensive. Some of those taken have been valued as high as $2,000.

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