Car burglaries in Jacksonville are down 25 percent so far this year compared to the first 25 days of January 2017. But a large number of guns — more than 500 of them in 2017—continue to be stolen from unlocked cars.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said the recent drop-off could be partially thanks to a social media push called the “9 p.m. routine.”
Every night since June of 2017, the sheriff’s office tweets or posts a meme on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #9PMRoutine reminding people to double check their cars are locked. Bujeda said the idea came from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and she decided to try it out in Duval County at the height of the problem.
“When we started it, it just took off,” she said. “I mean, we have people checking in with us from all over the country. We have people checking in from South America, from Europe. Everybody’s doing the ‘9 p.m. routine’ now.”
— Laura Dill (@Perspectvz) January 23, 2018
She says despite the campaign’s success, three out of every five auto burglaries continue to be on unlocked cars.
“We are seeing a concerning number of guns being stolen out of unlocked vehicles in Jacksonville in the overnight hours,” she said.
In the past seven days, she said, 75 auto burglaries have been reported to JSO.