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Police want citizens to develop ‘9 p.m. routine’ to help stop thieves

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are urging citizens to help them keep thieves locked out of their homes and cars.

In the Palestine neighborhood property owners say they've seen a surge in break-ins to their homes and cars. They like the idea that police are pushing of developing a so-called 9 p.m. routine.

Broken car windows are an increasingly common sight in Palestine, where thieves look for crimes of opportunity, something of value laying in plain view inside a vehicle that they can smash and grab.

There also have been a series of similar break-ins in the Brookside area.

That's why police are urging folks to go outside before 9 each night and lock your doors and make sure valuables are out of sight.

"I do it religiously and I have for years," said Thomas Bibbs Sr., president of the Palestine Neighborhood Development Corporation. "It can be done. It’s a good idea. It’s a good regimen, particularly for senior citizens, to get up and walk around. It’s a good opportunity for the last evening, before you go to bed you can sleep or think you have done everything you can do to make things a better environment, safer for people."

In the last six months, even the neighborhood center has become a target for thieves as burglars broke in to steal a television set.

Bibbs says making sure doors and windows are locked can go a long way to discourage costly damages to buildings and vehicles caused by forced entries.

By developing a routine to go check your property each night, and remove any valuables that could make you a target, police say the numbers of crimes of opportunity would greatly diminish.