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DENVER — Bicycle thefts are up 20 percent in the first six months of the year and the numbers are expected to increase through the summer months, the Denver police Department said.

Thieves are ripping more than three bicycles a day, police said.

The heavily targeted areas include Capitol Hill, Five Points and Union Station. And it’s happening in daylight, and even when owners have their bikes locked up, believing they are safe.

“Went downtown and parked across the street from Union Station. Locked up. Whole bunch of bikes, ton of foot traffic everywhere,” Byron Stewart said.

“Locked it up with a cable lock. Less than an hour later when we came out, it was gone. Took my helmet, too, hanging on the bike. Just had to replace that for $90.

Experts say cable locks can be easily and quickly cut by thieves. They recommend a U-Lock. It might cost $20 to $25, but they are more effective in stopping a thief from ripping off a bike.