It's the perfect time of year to get out on two wheels and enjoy the weather - and bike thieves know it. On Monday morning, Vancouver police announced a massive spike in thefts reported in August.

Police say 257 bikes were stolen in the last three weeks - a 64 per cent increase over the same period last year.

"That's a huge number of bicycles," Const. Jana McGuinness said. "Right now, in particular in the last three weeks, it's the residential areas being hit."

While the majority of bikes stolen are mid-to-low range, police say there have been high-end bikes worth more than $5,000 stolen as well.

Last year, 1596 bikes were reported stolen. Police say this year the tally already sits at 1417 bikes - with four months still to go.

To prevent bike theft, cyclists are advised to use a solid lock and to refrain from keeping bikes outdoors -- even on a patio. They are also told to mark down their bike's serial number, so they can prove ownership should a stolen bike be located.

"If you've made some changes to your bike, note those down along with your serial number," McGuinness said. "Those can be very handy if we've found the bike and we need to return it to the owner."