PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - The Pass Christian Police Department is teaming up with Crime Stoppers to crackdown on home and car burglaries. The social media campaign is called #9PMRoutine.
The campaign advises residents on how simple tactics can go a long way towards cutting down on neighborhood crime.
Residents are asked to do a couple of things every night. One critical measure is to get homeowners to lock car doors to protect themselves and the community.
“It is avoidable. All you have to do is lock your car. These guys, who are breaking into cars, are just running through neighborhoods and pulling door handles, and if their doors are locked, they just move on to the next one,” said Pass Christian Police Chief Daren Freeman.
According to Chief Freeman, these car burglaries can lead to bigger problems.
“The problem is people are leaving weapons in vehicles. They’re leaving valuable identification in vehicles. In this day and time, you don’t want anyone to get your identification, as well as a weapon, because it can end up in the wrong hands,” Freeman explained.
The idea of the social media campaign is to encourage residents to make sure cars are locked, weapons are removed from vehicles and porch lights are turned on by 9 p.m.
According to Crime Stoppers, criminals have an established method of working neighborhoods to look for vulnerable cars.
“They call it car hopping. There’s a group of people who get together. They have a driver, and they drop people off in a neighborhood. They work the street looking for vehicles that are unlocked,” said Crime Stoppers Director Lori Massey.
Police can only cover so much ground in a city, so they count on the public to help with deterring crime. The campaign highlights simple ways residents can help such as turning on porch lights. Officials say it’s a proven way of cutting down on property crime.
“When you light up an area, it deters crime. Criminals do not want to be seen. When you have lights on in neighborhoods, they’ll go to the next street over,” Chief Freeman said.
There are other neighborhood efforts to keep crime down in areas. Programs like neighborhood watch are well established.
Crime Stoppers and Chief Freeman have sent letters to other law enforcement agencies to make #9PMRoutine a Coast-wide program.