VICTORIA -- Police in Victoria say thefts from vehicles are on this rise amid the ongoing novel coronavirus. 

VicPD say there were 48 thefts from vehicles reported in Victoria and Esquimalt the first week of April, up 29 per cent over the last week in March when there were 34 such crimes reported.

The Saanich Police Department said Thursday it is also seeing a "significant increase" in thefts from vehicles, but did not specify an exact number.

Police are reminding the public to lock their vehicles and remove all valuables from inside.

"Thefts from vehicles are often crimes of opportunity that tend to happen during later hours," VicPD said in a statement Thursday.

"Most thefts from vehicles occur after dark… removing valuables from your vehicle after 9 p.m. can help to prevent theft."

Police are also advising vehicle-owners to park in high-traffic, well-lit areas and to never leave a duplicate set of keys inside the vehicle.