People have been breaking into cars to steal what’s inside for a long time, and until auto companies invent vehicles that can’t be broken into, the practice probably isn’t going to disappear any time soon. As a matter of fact, the crime is becoming increasingly common all across the United States. Even here in Canyon Country, despite the numerous police patrols, vehicles are broken into all the time. Sometimes it’s to snatch a cell phone or tablet, other times it’s for the change in the cup holder.
In an effort to help residents take proactive steps to protect themselves, the SCV Sheriff’s Station and other law enforcement agencies have taken to popularizing a protocol known as the 9PM Routine. The routine is simple. It’s a reminder for residents to go out to their vehicles at 9 p.m. every evening and remove their valuables – including loose change – and to make sure the windows are up and the doors are locked (in their vehicles, as well as in their homes).
Simple routines like this can be effective because breaking into someone’s vehicle is a crime of opportunity most of the time. Someone walking by a vehicle notices a pair of expensive sunglasses on the dash, a cell phone on the seat, or even random coins in the center console or cup holder and decides to bash in and relieve the owner of his/her property. When perpetrators peek through a vehicle’s window and see nothing worth stealing, they’re far more likely to move on to other vehicles rather than try their luck breaking into what appears to be an empty car.
Sometimes it’s the little things you can do that keep you from being the victim of a crime, and the 9PM Routine is one of those things. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s effective.