The Shaw area of Northwest Washington seems made for bicycles.It is flat, and near downtown. A bike route runs on Seventh Street NW, and a random photo showed two bicyclists in a single block. But bike theft in Shaw “has become a tremendous problem,” D.C. police said this week.

“Bicycle parts, including seats and ‘quick release’ wheels, are in big demand” among thieves, police said Friday in an Web posting.

Specifically, the posting pertained to the neighborhood’s rapidly gentrifying core between Ninth Street and Florida Avenue and New York Avenue and S Street. But it has obvious applicability elsewhere. Police have posted photographs of bikes recovered in several parts of the city, waiting to be reclaimed.

Police said most bike taken are those unsecured or poorly secured, in low-traffic areas. They urged use of high-end “U locks.” Police also said bikes should be kept indoors.

Frames and both wheels should be locked, police said. If only the front wheel is locked, that may be all that is left after thieves, whom police described as “well equipped and well organized,” take the rest.