24/06/2016 9:54 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST

Melbourne Bike Theft Surge Prompts Cops To Do Free Engravings

Doesn't matter if it's a hipster fixie or a mountain bike.

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Police are asking cyclists to photograph and engrave their bikes.

Bicycle thefts in north Melbourne have increased 26 percent year on year, prompting police to offer free bike engravings and ask owner to photograph their bikes.

Sergeant Mani Brouskos said there was no one explanation for the surge but that bike theft was a particular problem at Yarraville, Hoppers Crossing, Laverton, Newport, Williams Landing and Footscray.

As part of the operation, police will be approaching bike owners at the station to talk about ways to minimise theft.

"Unfortunately people continue to leave their bikes in public places with no lock or safety measures in place," Brouskos said.

"In this day and age you just cannot do that anymore, sadly.

"On those occasions when we do recover stolen property, it's often difficult to identify the rightful owner and that's where photos can be very handy.

"We're doing our best to deter, prevent, detect and prosecute offenders for these crimes but we really need the public's help."

Bike Safety Tips From Victoria Police

• Always lock your bike, even at home, including in a garage or storage cage or when leaving it for a very short time.

• Lock it to a fixed object like a parking meter or permanent bike rack.

• Lock it in a visible and well-lit area or if possible in a secure bike cage.

• If securing at a railway station use secure storage cages if available.

• Use a good-quality, combination D-lock and locking cable for optimal deterrence.

• Secure components and accessories, especially quick-release components such as wheels, with a secondary cable lock.

• Be able to identify your bike. Less than 10 per cent of bikes reported stolen are recovered. Bikes can be returned to their owners if engraved with your license number (with the letter V for Victoria before it) on the bike, usually underneath the bottom bracket where the pedals rotate on the frame.

• Ensure your bike is insured.

• Take a clear photograph of your bike and keep it on file – this can assist police if you become a victim of theft.