DENVER (CBS4)– Police in Denver say the next bike that gets stolen could be one of theirs. Officers are using “bait bikes” to catch thieves in the act.

It seems to be working, so far police have arrested 20 suspected bike thieves so far with the new method.

The bait bikes look just like any normal bike except that they’re fitted with a hidden GPS device. Once a thief takes off, officers track them down and make the arrest.

Chris Webster and his family took a bike ride along the Highline Canal with their brand new wheels but they haven’t purchases any locks yet.

“In the past I’ve used the chain thing, but I don’t know that that’s so great because I have bolt cutters that will cut right through them,” said Webster.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Surveillance video near a college campus shows how quickly thieves work to swipe bicycles.

“This old cat came in and ripped it through the door, I chased him down the alley and I never could get a hold of him,” said theft victim Stephen Wallace.

Now police in Denver are using a new technique to catch those two-wheel bandits, bait bikes.

“We want thieves to be aware that if you steal a bike, it could be one of ours,” said Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

Jackson said in the operation’s first three months, officers have already made 20 arrests.

“I mean, I think it’s a good way to catch the repeat offenders because if they’re going to steal one, they’re going to steal again if they didn’t get caught,” said Webster.

Police urge bicycle riders to keep their bikes in a locked garage or shed, or secure it with a U-lock instead of a cable.

“Think about those kinds of things, how you can secure your bike and think about ‘Is my lock something that can be easily defeated by somebody with bolt cutters or some type of cutting device,'” said Jackson.

Police say U-locks only work when they’re put on properly, through the wheel and frame.

They also recommend registering your bicycle with the city.

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