Cyclists have been reminded to mark their bikes as police currently have no way of reuniting most stolen bicycles with their owners.
Although many stolen bikes are recovered by South Yorkshire Police, if they are unmarked it is extremely difficult for officers to return them to their rightful owners.
In Doncaster alone, around 50 recovered bikes are currently being held by police.
Sergeant Mark Hitchenor said: “Doncaster Police recover hundreds of suspected stolen bikes every year, but have no way of identifying their owners.
“Every recovered bike is checked against stolen property registers, examined for identity tags and ultraviolet markers, but only a very small number are ever returned to an owner.
“It would help if the public know the make, model and frame number of their bike and if they can take a picture of the bike, so we can use this information to trace the owner.”
People can also register their bikes and other valuables online, on websites such as www.immobilise.com.
These websites are checked by police when stolen property is recovered.
Sgt Hitchenor added: “This advice is especially apt in the run-up to Christmas, when people may be buying valuable items such as bikes to give as Christmas presents
“Bikes are also a tempting target for thieves at this time of year. Don’t let your bike end up under someone else’s Christmas tree.”
For further advice on how to secure bikes, visit the South Yorkshire Police website at http://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/help-and-advice/z-crime-types/cycle-theft.