Nearly 150 bikes were stolen in South Yorkshire in February and March, new figures reveal.
South Yorkshire Police officers are now using ‘bait bikes’ in a bid to catch prolific offenders in the act.
The bikes are fitted with GPS tracking systems, which allow officers to locate them and if they are stolen.
So far five arrests have been made.
To coincide with the Tour de Yorkshire bike race in Barnsley on Sunday, police chiefs are urging cyclists to step up their security.
Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “There have been a number of bike thefts in recent months, particularly in city and town centres around South Yorkshire, which we are taking steps to tackle including the use of a bait bike.
“This has led to a number of arrests and prosecutions which I am pleased about.
“We need people to be security conscious and help us to reduce this type of crime.
“Often people have expensive bikes that are secured with cheap locks which are flimsy and easily breakable. We need riders to invest in suitable locks to deter thieves and to ensure their bikes are left in secure locations.”