Officers want you to get in the habit of locking car doors

Law enforcement asks you to make sure doors are locked at 9 every night

By Joy Purdy - 5:30, 6:30 & 11 p.m. anchor

Law enforcement agencies in Northeast Florida are stepping up their game to try to get you to remember to lock your car doors.

A startling number of vehicle break-ins happen because doors were left unlocked. 

While it's easy to feel comfortable when you're at home, and so you leave your car door unlocked, the problem is that makes it a prime target for crooks to get inside and take what they can.

That's why we're seeing law enforcement stepping up on social media -- trying to get you to start the habit of locking your car doors. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has been tweeting and posting on Facebook over the last few days, encouraging you to get into the routine of checking your locks at 9 p.m. every night. 

In Clay County, surveillance video on Monday night captured a group of young men going up to cars in the Oakleaf Plantation neighborhood and checking the handles to see if they were unlocked. One man said his BMW was stolen from his driveway. 

The message is one that News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith and local law enforcement officers have stressed over and over again. 

"Lock your door," Smith said. 

"Lock it. Lock the vehicle," said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Melissa Bujeda. 

"If we could simply ask individuals to remember to hit that little button as they walk into their house at night, it would save a lot of the crime trends that we have," said St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan. 

All Florida counties are also taking part in Operation Deadbolt, a public awareness campaign to deter burglaries.

So remember, every night at 9, lock up. 

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