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updated: 9/5/2013 7:05 AM

University Wisconsin-Madison police renew 'bike-bait' program

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Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- Police at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are renewing a program designed to track down bicycle thieves by planting "bait bikes" around campus.

University authorities have run the program since 2008. They outfit bicycles with GPS tracking devices and leave the bikes at various spots around campus.

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Police say they've upgraded their systems this year to enhance their ability to track thieves. They plan to discuss the upgrades on Thursday. They're also launching a new bike-theft campaign aimed at educating students on how to keep their bikes safe on campus.

Madison police credit the bait-bike program with helping reduce the number of bike thefts. The year before the program launched, about 500 bike thefts were reported citywide. The number fell to 425 in 2008 and to 350 the year after that.

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