BIKE thieves have been taking cyclists for a ride after a spate of thefts across Sunderland centre.
Since April, 11 bikes have been reported stolen, compared with five during the same time last year.
Many of the thefts have been down to people leaving their bikes unlocked at stands, or in gardens or sheds.
In a bid to keep thieves at bay, officers are reminding people to follow a few simple steps, including locking bikes when they are left and having it marked.
Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Hall said: “People also need to make sure that the locks they use are suitable and not easy to force.
“We’ve had a number of opportunist thefts reported to us and we want to make sure that others don’t have their bikes stolen.
“Officers are carrying out extra patrols in the affected areas to deter thieves and reassure cyclists.
“We’re also targeting people who handle stolen goods in a bid to stop the trade of stolen bikes.”