BOULDER - You see them everywhere as students return to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Bicycles are visible on streets, sidewalks and bike racks. While thousands of bikes show up on the campus, the University of Colorado at Boulder Police is concerned about the ones that will disappear during the school year.

"We've seen about 150 bike thefts from our campus each of the last 2 years totaling about $100,000 in loss," CU police Cdr Robert Axmacher said.

Bicycle thefts are not a problem unique to the CU Boulder campus. Universities throughout the country face a similar problem.

CU-Boulder takes a proactive approach by providing students with information to prevent being victimized by thieves. They advise students to use U-locks to secure their bikes instead of cable locks.

"We talk to them about using a U-lock. When we do see bikes stolen it almost always is what we see is a cut cable lock," Axmacher said.

The university also encourages students to register their bikes. It increases the chances of the bike being returned if stolen.

"I can't tell you how many times we've recovered bikes, had serial numbers but had not been able to get those back to their owner, because they weren't registered," Axmacher said.

In addition to educating CU students on ways to prevent having their bikes stolen, the CU Police Department also analyzes theft data and utilizes plain clothes officers and surveillance cameras in areas where bikes are being taken.