There is a popular newphenomenon sweeping the country that is helping people protect their homes and property. Started in 2016 by the Sherriff’s office in Pasco County, Florida, it’s catching on nationwide because it is simple to do and extremely effective.
Every night at 9:00, everyone in the community is encouraged to lock up their property, turn on lights, and bring in valuables to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to property crimes. This is the new “9PM Routine.”
What to do:
· Remove keys, wallets, cash, phones, phone chargers, sunglasses, garage door openers, and all other valuables from the vehicles.
· If you can’t remove items of value, lock them in the trunk or glove compartment.
· Ensure all vehicle windows are closed and locked.
· Store your vehicle keys away from doors and windows. Some criminals use scanners to gain the code for your remote key fob.
· Don’t leave property in your yard that may be attractive to thieves.
· Close and lock house and garage doors and windows.
· Turn on outside lights. Motion activated lights work great!
· Keep shrubbery around your home trimmed.
· Set up a home security system. They are easier to use and more cost-effective than ever.
· Have a neighbor grab your mail and keep an eye on your house when you’re away.
· Beware of door-to-door scams.
· Report all suspicious activities.
Angela DeLeon, a Crime Prevention Specialist at People’s United Bank, likes the 9PM Routine because it’s an easy and engaging way to help people protect their property. Angela also recommends that people make sure all windows are locked in the house, and if they are open for fresh air, to make sure that they are pinned so that nobody can raise them high enough for a person to enter the home. Also, store all ladders outside in a locked garage at night.
Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about the 9PM Routine. Call your local police department. Ask if they are participating, and if they aren’t, ask them to join the movement. Commit to the routine seven days a week. And if you are social media-savvy, post, share, and tag! You’ll feel better, and you’ll feelsafer. Who couldn’t use a little feeling better and safer ... particularly now?