Bicycles apparently have become the transportation mode of choice by local joyriders.

Eight people reported unknown suspects stole their bicycles over the weekend in Ottawa, according to Ottawa police reports.

“We have had a rash of bicycle thefts recently,” Capt. Adam Weingartner, Ottawa Police Department, said. “Judging by where the bicycles were taken to the points where some of them were recovered, it appears that someone will take a bicycle that’s been left out in a front yard or driveway and ride it for awhile and then grab another bicycle.”

The theft reports came in from the 300 block of South Elm Street, the 300 block of South Maple Street, the 400 and 800 blocks of South Poplar Street and the 700 and 1400 blocks of South Willow Street, the police reports said.

Residents can help Ottawa police curb the rash of bicycle thefts by storing their bicycles in a locked garage or another secure place that’s not visible from the street, Weingartner said. People should not leave bicycles in front yards, driveways, on front porches or other easily accessible locations that make tempting targets for thieves, Weingartner said.

It often is difficult to identify a bicycle’s owner because of the lack of markings or other information on the bicycle itself, Weingartner said. When the owner cannot be identified, the bicycle is placed in the police department’s property room at the Ottawa Law Enforcement Center, 715 W. Second St., Ottawa, he said.

Victims of bicycle theft can go to the Ottawa Police Department between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and ask for the property officer to see if their bicycles have been recovered, Weingartner said.