BENDIGO police are urging cyclists to lock up their bikes to fixed objects - even when people are at home.
Senior Sergeant Craig Gaffee said 17 bikes had been reported stolen since the start of December.
"Not one of those bikes were locked up," he said.
"Most were stolen from the CBD area.
"But a few were also stolen from front yards.
"Even when you're at home, ensure your bike is locked up and out of sight.
"Don't keep it in your front yard where everyone can see."
Senior Sergeant Gaffee said people should engrave their driver's licence number, preceded by 'V' for Victoria on their bike.
"Use a friend or relative's licence number if you don't have one," he said.
"When we locate a bike, it makes it really hard to find the owner if there is no name or identification on it.
"We keep the bike for three months.
"After that we donate it to charity or to the Bluelight Youth Camp in Maldon."
But Bendigo Cycles workshop manager Matt Hope said people should be wary of engraving anything on their bike.
"Be aware that you could void the warranty on your bike if you engrave your driver's licence number on it.
"We recommend recording the bike's serial number.
"Most bikes have a serial number somewhere on the body.
"If it does get stolen that makes it easier for the bike to be returned to you when police locate it."
Mr Hope said people should try to keep their bikes within sight.
"Obviously that isn't always possible," he said.
"You can get insurance for your bike.
"Insurance companies like you to take of photo of your bike next to other possessions so they know it's yours.
"There is some new technology being developed that will actually alert you via wifi or bluetooth if your bike is being moved.
"That technology isn't available yet."
Bendigo police suggest the following tips for keeping your bike safe:
- Park your bike in a well-lit area, chained through the front wheel and frame;
- Secure components and accessories, such as quick-release wheels, with a secondary cable lock;
- Photograph your bike; and insure it.