Even a casual observer of news reports will have noticed recent stories about motor vehicle break-ins, sometimes repeated incidents in the same neighborhoods. While these incidents are vigorously investigated, local Police Departments are convinced there is more that residents can do to protect their vehicles and home.

What started out as a local Florida effort to reach residents has become a national and international phenomenon. Police departments are taking to Facebook and Twitter for what they call the 9 pm routine, sending posts that remind people to lock their homes and cars before they go to bed. The goal: to limit the number of easily preventable burglaries.

This is an easy straightforward approach to preventing criminals from preying on easy targets, and the early responses from the community have been largely positive, spurring discussions on the important topic of crime prevention. For example, residents on the Nextdoor social network have been discussing strategies and tips with each other, such as setting reminder alarms and exchanging phone numbers with neighbors.