CLAYTON — In reaction to ongoing issues with residents leaving valuables in unlocked vehicles resulting in multiple thefts, the Clayton Police Department has launched a social media campaign, #9PMRoutine.
This past weekend Clayton officers filed multiple reports of thefts from motor vehicles occurring in Northview Estates (Honeybrook Avenue area) and in the Northmoor subdivision (Seville Drive and surrounding streets).
Items stolen from unlocked vehicles included credit/debit cards, laptop computers, cell phones, cash and valuable jewelry as well as other items.
“The common factor in each theft was that the vehicles were left unlocked,” said Police Chief Matt Hamlin. “What we are trying to do is ask the residents to help us reduce crime. They need to be observant and if they follow the hashtag 9PMRoutine it is a reminder to them to get their valuables out of their cars, to lock their cars, turn on outside lights and close and lock their garages. A lot of times we find residents that have left their garage doors open at night. Our officers knock on the door and ask the resident to close their garage door. If we can’t get an answer, we close it for them.”
When an officer closes a garage door for a resident, the officer leaves a safety reminder on the front door. A resident in the Cheri Lynne Drive area left a garage door open at night and their vehicle was stolen from the garage.
To reduce thefts from vehicles, all that residents need to do is remove all valuables, take them inside and make sure their car doors are locked.
“We advise against keeping high value items in your vehicles and would also request that you keep your vehicles locked at all times,” Hamlin stated. “By doing this you can help the Clayton Police Department to keep our community safe.”
Hamlin suggests residents set an alarm on their smartphone, watch or other device to remind them to remove valuables from their vehicles, lock them, close and lock their garage doors and turn on their outside lights.
“These are crimes of opportunity,” Hamlin added. “If a suspect finds a vehicle unlocked they will get in and take anything of value, including loose change. If you lock your vehicle’s doors they will move on until they find an unlocked door because eventually they will find one.”
He also suggests that residents install security cameras to monitor their properties if possible.
If you want to help Clayton Police spread the word, snap a photo of your locked vehicle door and put it on Facebook or Twitter with #9PMRoutine.