VANCOUVER -- Police in Delta, B.C., say the city has experienced a significant spike in mail thefts over the last two months and that thieves could be targeting government relief cheques.

In March and April, Delta police said they've seen 23 separate incidents of mail theft reported to police, compared to just six such incidents during the same time period in 2019.

The majority of thefts took place at apartment buildings in North Delta, while the package thefts took place throughout the city, police said in a news release Thursday.

"Physical restrictions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the public's use of online shopping, leading to an increase in parcel delivery," Delta police spokesperson Cris Leykauf said in a statement. "Additionally, officers suspect thieves may be targeting government relief cheques."

Delta police said they are concerned that the thefts will continue as contactless delivery has meant more packages are being left on doorsteps. Police are encouraging residents to take precautions, such as ensuring someone will be home to accept deliveries.

"Police have discussed a range of additional security measures with the owners and managers of apartment buildings that have been targeted, such as improving the security of mailboxes and using CCTV cameras," the release said.

Delta police said other Metro Vancouver cities have also seen an increase in mail theft but did not specify which ones.