Bicycle theft is on the rise, according to NYPD statistics presented at a Transportation Committee hearing at City Hall on Wednesday.

NYPD Legal Affairs Bureau spokeswoman Susan Petito told the committee that 532 bicycle thefts have been reported so far in 2015. For context, she listed bicycle theft counts for the last several years: 2,894 in 2011; 3,503 in 2012; 4,249 in 2013; and 4,849 in 2014. That's almost a 70% increase in thefts in just four years. Admittedly, this has something to do with the fact that more New Yorkers are biking than ever before.

Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez believes that steep fines would go a long way towards curbing this problem, and is sponsoring a new piece of legislation [PDF] that would slap bicycle thieves with fines between $500 and $1,000. (The same bill would establish fines for car theft as well, between $5,000 and $7,500).

"When a person steals someone's means of transportation, they are stealing more than just a physical item. They are potentially robbing that person of their means to earn a living," Rodriguez said.

The councilman seems to be particularly concerned about the increased theft of high-end bicycles. His analysis, presented to the committee, cites an AM New York report from last November that documented a 64% increase in thefts of bicycles valuing more than $1,000. Unsurprisingly, these incidents are concentrated in neighborhoods like the West Village, East Village and Flatiron.

DOT and NYPD representatives reminded the councilmember of the measures already being taken to prevent bicycle theft in New York. For its part, the DOT created the Bikes in Buildings program in 2009, which covers 350 buildings and shelters over 6,500 bicycles.

Petito added, "The police department currently has a very robust effort to have people register their bicycles with us." Even if your bike doesn't have a serial number, the NYPD will etch one in. "Any person can make an appointment to go into their precinct and register their bicycle," she said.

Roughly 2% of all stolen bikes reported to the NYPD are recovered.

Rodriguez suggested these efforts weren't enough to deter theft: "With this legislation we will send a message to anyone who is planning to steal a bike: We will go after them," he said. "Our city will not tolerate this offense."

Oh, and don't even think about going after a Citi Bike.