RCMP are advising the public of an alarming increase in theft from motor vehicles.

From January to the end of September, in Nanaimo, Mounties say there has been 1555 reported thefts.

That compares to all of 2017 when there were 1661.

Constable Gary O’Brien says one of the most effective way to prevent a theft is to keep your vehicle locked at all times when not in use, and always keep valuables out of sight.

He says thieves walk up and down streets, usually late at night, and as they pass a vehicle, they check the door handles.

He says, if it’s locked they move on.

Mounties say besides locking your vehicle doors, it’s helpful if people report suspicious activity immediately to police.