MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – At the Hub Bike Co-op in South Minneapolis, lately customers are calling about their new bikes being stolen.

“We end up talking to somebody replacing a bike that has been stolen almost every day,” Hub Bike Co-op employee David Meyer said.

They all have a common theme. The bikes were stolen out of their garages.

“Every year about this time we start to see an uptick in this sort of crime,” Minneapolis Police officer John Elder said.

South Minneapolis has been hit hard by thieves targeting garages for high end bikes, motorcycles and other valuables. Police say more than 720 burglaries have been reported in that area, which is up 16 percent from this time last year.

“People are in and out of their garages more, they’re leaving their garages open. People are going by being able to see what’s worth stealing,” Elder said.

Elder says aside from always closing your garage, the best things to help deter a garage theft are: dead bolting access doors, installing a visible security system and blacking out garage windows.

“A curtain covering over it. It keeps people from being able to be on the outside looking in to see what is worth stealing in here,” Elder said.

With many of the thieves taking bicycles, the best thing you can do is to save the bike’s serial number.

“That’s the best thing for getting your bike back,” Meyer said. “If you don’t have the serial number with it, they can go and bring it to a pawn shop and it’s never going to have any red flags on it.”

Kate Raddatz