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Putting the brakes on bike thieves - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Putting the brakes on bike thieves

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Bikes are everywhere in Burlington. And most cyclists are fairly savvy when it comes to securing them.

"I lock it up with a bike lock," cyclist Aurora Schein said. "If I forget my bike lock, I hope for the best. But I don't feel comfortable doing that."

Schein says she's lucky. Her bike has never been stolen, but she's seen it happen to several of her friends.

"The bikes don't always get stolen for the purpose for being sold or to be kept," Burlington Police Lt. Scott Davidson said. "In a lot of cases, they're just stolen to be taken from one end of the city to the other because someone wants transportation, and then they're dumped."

Many will end up at the Burlington Police Department bike pen. During the summer months, the property division says it will be overflowing with bicycles.

"We hold it for 30 days. At the end of 30 days we donate the bike," Davidson explained.

Last summer, 92 bicycles were reported stolen in the city. Police were able to recover 60 percent of them. But only a handful made it back to their rightful owners.

"Some of these mountain bikes that we are seeing stolen are upward in the thousands," Davidson noted.

Police say the more you know about your bike, the more likely you are to get it back. So report it stolen, take photographs and know your serial number.

"A serial you can get from wherever you purchased your bike from. We recommend that you write it down and keep the receipt of your bike," Davidson said.

Simple steps to keep you cruising.

To report a theft or inquire about a stolen bike, call the Burlington Police property line at 802-540-2410.

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