In Castle Rock, the police department regularly reminds residents through Facebook to conduct the #9pmroutine. What does that mean? It means taking the time before you go to sleep to make sure all valuable belongings are removed from vehicles and both cars and the home are locked up safely.
When it comes to the increasing number of car thefts in the region, Parker Police Chief Jim Tsurapas said these crimes are really about convenience. Offenders will travel along residential streets, checking to see if vehicles are left unlocked, going through them to see if there are any valuables that can be easily stolen.
Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley agreed with Tsurapas that if residents take away the convenience, criminals will find another target.
“Think of it as forming a regular habit. When you get inside your car, you automatically buckle your seat belt,” Cauley said. “In this case, you get out, grab your valuables and lock up. By taking these steps we can significantly reduce the number of crimes we are seeing.”
Tsurapas said it is normal for residents to get complacent, but as vehicle-theft numbers have gone up, it is important to be more vigilant about protecting property and reporting suspicious or criminal activity to local authorities.
Tsurapas said last month, a resident reported suspicious activity in his neighborhood. When police investigated the call, it led to arresting three individuals who were breaking into cars.
Technology advances have also allowed residents to become more complacent with vehicles. Key fobs may be great in allowing drivers to just push a button and go, but it also means they are leaving the keys in cupholders overnight. Tsurapas said when the keys are sitting there, it is not hard for criminals to drive away.
To conduct the #9pmroutine, residents should do the following every night:
Remove valuables from vehicles
Lock all vehicles
Lock up the house and windows
Close and lock garage doors
Turn on exterior lights
Upgraded steps that residents can take to protect family vehicles include:
Install audible alarm system and anti-theft devices
Install a vehicle immobilizer system
Install a tracking system
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