9 PM Routine
What's the 9 PM Routine?
Car break-ins happen all year long but tend to increase as the weather warms up. As a result, the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is commemorating the start of spring and the return of warmer weather by encouraging residents to practice the “9 PM Routine.”
Originating in Pasco County, Florida, in 2017, the 9 PM Routine is a national campaign that encourages residents to create a nighttime routine consisting of basic safety measures, including locking your doors, closing your garage, making sure no items are left visible in your car, and turning on your porch lights.
Make Yourself a Tougher Target
The WFPD is utilizing Facebook and its other social media platforms to remind residents to follow the 9 PM Routine and make themselves tougher targets for criminals.
For example, most cars that are broken into are unlocked. Criminals walk through neighborhoods, trying vehicle door handles, hoping to find an unlocked vehicle. The best way to prevent vehicle burglaries is by removing all your valuables, locking your vehicle’s doors upon exiting, and taking the keys to the vehicle inside your residence.
“Most property crimes are crimes of opportunity,” said Police Chief Jeff Leonard. “These things we emphasize as part of the 9 PM Routine may seem like common sense, but most people have a lot going on, so they sometimes forget. By making it a part of your normal routine, you can reduce your chance of becoming a victim.”
In addition, Leonard says most vehicles that have been burglarized in local parking lots during the day, known as “smash and grabs,” had a valuable item in plain view left inside.
He strongly urges residents to lock car doors, close windows, and keep personal property out of plain view, take it with you, or leave it at home.
See Something, Say Something
Finally, as always, Leonard says “if you see something, say something.”
“If you’re out and about, whether it’s at a local store or park, and you see something suspicious, maybe somebody is looking into car windows, or they’re testing the car to see if it’s unlocked, make sure you call the police department and report it,” he said.
“If we investigate and no crime is occurring, then that’s okay. But we would rather you call, and it turn out to be nothing, than not call. It’s a proven fact that reporting suspicious activity helps prevent crime.”
The WFPD relies on the Town’s citizens to be its eyes and ears. Anyone witnessing or experiencing suspicious activity is urged to call the police department at 919-554-6150 or 919-556-9111. You may remain anonymous.