NEARLY as many bikes have been stolen in Huntingdon in May as in the four preceding months, according to crime figures released by police.

NEARLY as many bikes have been stolen in Huntingdon in May as in the four preceding months, according to crime figures released by police.

Bikes worth a total of £12,404 have already been stolen in 2011, with £6,829 of those thefts occurring in the past month. Fifty bikes have been reported stolen since January - and 23 of those have happened in May.

Sector Inspector Ian Ford said the majority of the thefts were from educational institutions - schools, primary and secondary, and the college - around the town centre, and Stukeley Meadows.

"Quite often the bikes have not been locked up. We have had some where bikes have been taken which were not physically locked to something," he said.

"We have had the whole range of bikes taken - one or two are high value bikes, but also had lower value bikes taken, which might mean they are using them for joy-rides or for parts."

Police have urged cyclists to lock bikes up securely to a fixed object with a quality lock, and stamp the bikes with postcodes, as well as registering them on cycle security website www.immobilise.com

They are is trying to set up a bike security scheme with Richardsons Cycles to get the message out to riders to lock their bikes properly - using the best lock they can afford, always locking through the frame and ensuring that any quick-release parts are taken away with them.

Bikes can be registered for free by visiting the Immobilise website. A bike found anywhere in the country can be checked by the police and if it is registered it can be returned.

PCSO Andrew Goodwin said: "One bike worth £550 was left unsecured outside Sapley Post Office and another worth £350 was left unsecured at Foxgrove, Godmanchester.

"Police officers are carrying out extra patrols and taking action to catch those responsible, but we also need cyclists to take precautions by locking their bike up effectively and registering it on Immobilise."

A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with theft by finding. He will appear at Huntingdon Youth Court.

INFORMATION: If you have any information about cycle crime in your area, call 0345 456 4564 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.