Followers of the Police Log in the Pratt Tribune may have noticed a rise in thefts especially bicycle thefts.

Time after time, bicycle owners have gone outside to get their bikes and they discover that the bike is gone.

Lyda Kasselman, Pratt Police community service officer, said there are always ways to avoid being a victim.

Bicycles are an easy target for thieves. Many times children simply hop off the bike and leave it lying in front of the house or sitting in an open garage.

If possible go ahead and put the bicycle in a garage and shut the door. If the house has no garage, a good bicycle lock will also help deter a thief.

Another way to protect bicycles is register the bike with the Pratt Police Department. If the bicycle is stolen and then recovered, registration makes it easier for the Police to locate the owner of the bicycle. Registration is free at the Pratt Police Department.

Without the ID, the bicycle ends up in the Pratt Police bicycle impound facility where dozens of bicycles wait to be claimed but none have been registered making it difficult to reunite the bike with the owner.

Putting the bicycle in a garage and shutting the door will help keep the bike safe. Besides bikes, a shut garage door is also an effective way to help prevent theft of other items in the garage.

Keeping the house and the car locked also reduces the threat of robbery.

"You would be surprised how many people are walking around or riding around on someone else's bike, just looking for an opportunity to see what's in our car or you open house, garage, shed, etc.," Kasselman said. "Don't make it easy for them to take your things."

Besides taking good care of personal property, a good neighbor also keeps an eye out for problems in their block.

Pratt has no Neighborhood Watch program but the principles still apply:

• Know who lives in your neighborhood.

• Know what is normal for your neighborhood.

• If you see something suspicious or unusual, call the police. Unusual activity may mean nothing to you but it could prevent a crime and help catch a thief.

• Neighborhood tips often prove to be helpful.

It is impossible to prevent crime. If a person is a victim of theft, they should report it.

While some may think its just a small thing and they have no hope of getting their property back but it should be reported even if the victim feels embarrassed.

With a report, it's easy for officers to compare stolen property with a list and return that property. It's much easier then calling the Law Enforcement Center and saying an item is stolen and has the LEC found it, Kasselman said.

It's also a good idea to keep a list of serial numbers and pictures of valuable items.

To report any suspicious activity or report a theft, contact the Pratt Police Department at 620-672-5551.