GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - With burglaries on the rise, police in Gaston County are taking a new approach to curb crime.
It's called 'The 9 p.m. Routine' and police hope it will push residents to become more vigilant.
Police all over the Charlotte region are seeing an increase in crimes, but investigators say they could be prevented if people just locked up.
"We make sure that we lock up the house, we lock the cars," said resident Jeanie Goad. But, police in Gaston County say that not everyone is this responsible.
In recent weeks, the county has seen an uptick in burglaries of homes and vehicles.
The majority of the time, the doors were left unlocked.
"It’s a pretty big problem," stated Captain E.L. Johnson of the Gaston PD. "A simple thing could have saved them a lot of grief and a lot of property loss."
So, the police decided to roll out a new initiative called 'The 9 p.m. Routine.'
By 9pm every night, police in Gaston County want residents to make sure all car windows are rolled up and all doors are locked.
The got the idea from Sheriff's department in Florida that has seen success with the strategy.
"Is this a good idea? Absolutely," said homeowner Jennifer Mintun. "I think by 9 o’clock because that’s when the sun goes down. I feel more comfortable locking my doors, car, home, anything."
Homeowners hope if everyone gets involved, it will cut down on property crime in the county.
"We want to protect our things and if it’s locked it’s not yours to go into," said Goad.
Police say that a 9 p.m. Routine reminder will be posted on the Nextdoor app twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays.
Captain Johnson says, "This is something that’s need and in today’s society criminals looks for soft targets."
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