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Beware bicycle owners.

Vanessa Miller of the Gazette writes that 22 bicycles have been reported stolen in Iowa City since the beginning of July, a daunting number when you consider that Iowa City police seem to consider the theft of bikes to be not out of the ordinary. Oh, and the month isn't even half over.

Iowa City police report that bicycle theft calls have become routine, although the occurrences ebb and flow based on the weather and the University of Iowa student population in town. The thefts can occur at public bike racks and at private residences, and the police department is urging residents to lock up their rides no matter where they are.

For this reason, Iowa City police are not only recommending that bicycle owners take care when locking up bicycles and leaving them outside at their homes, they also suggest bicyclists register their bikes with the city so they can be positively IDed as stolen and returned to their owners once they are recovered.

Registering a bicycle is a quick and simple process, and no fee is charged. You can stop by and pick up a form at the Iowa City Police Department, located in City Hall at 410 E. Washington Street. The department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After the application has been completed and turned in to the Police Department, you'll receive a registration sticker to affix to your bicycle.

To help prevent your bicycle from being stolen, always lock and secure it. When at home, do not leave it in an open garage or unsecured in a yard or on a porch or deck. If your bike is stolen, report it to the Police Department immediately. This will help them track where the thefts are occurring, and also provide a description and information about your bike so they can be on the lookout for it.


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