GULFPORT — Police said Wednesday they'll be cracking down on bike thefts and vehicle burglaries by increasing foot patrols and incorporating more surveillance technology.
In the first six months of 2013, 48 bicycle thefts and 27 vehicle burglaries were reported in Gulfport. Those numbers rose to 82 and 74, respectively, in the first six months of 2014.
The department will use new "bait bikes" with electronic trackers to catch would-be thieves, according to a news release. The devices send a text message to investigators when bikes are moved, and are tied to a mobile application that will allow further tracking.
Officers will be asked to pay closer attention to cyclists and focus on those violating statutory bike regulations, including running stop signs. They'll be checking bike serial numbers to see if they're stolen.
Police encouraged residents to lock cars and park in well-lit areas, keep bikes inside locked sheds or garages and hide valuables inside cars. Most bicycles are stolen from porches or open garages, police said.