Police are on the hunt for a group of thieves who made off with close to $10,000 worth of tires from a dealer in Nanaimo.

The thieves broke into the city's Fountain Tire last weekend, cutting open a locked gate and loading 24 commercial grade tires onto a getaway truck before driving away.

The stolen tires — Dunlop SP932 casings with heavy-lug Goodyear treads — are only available locally at Fountain Tire.

RCMP Constable Gary O'Brien says this was not a case of random theft.  

"I think for something of this, it's highly organized, it would take several people. It would take some time to do that. So there's a little bit of planning involved. To take the time to steal 24 high-end tires... we don't see that very often," he said.

The tires have been recapped and are designed for off-road use, by either logging trucks or dump trucks.

Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or go online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.