Rahway and Denville police are among many departments that have begun a social media campaign to encourage residents to get in the habit of locking their cars and doors at night and making sure they do not leave valuables in the vehicle.

Rahway Police Capt. Dawn Rodger says it's called "the 9 p.m. routine."

Police departments all over the country are quietly reminding residents through Facebook and Twitter to secure their vehicles and homes after dark.

"You take 30 seconds out of your life to make sure that your car doors are locked and that you have not left any valuables in there," she said. "Nobody wants to wake up in the morning and feel violated."

"It does seem like something that would be a common sense thing, and I think, for the most part, most people do adhere to it. But life happens. People get busy and oversights happen, so, it is just a simple reminder."

People who live in upscale places with less crime can become complacent about this. But Rodger says "good neighborhoods might be actually more of a target because criminals are going to assume that maybe there are more valuables on hand."

"Crime happens everywhere, regardless of how safe your neighborhood is. So it just makes sense to take the extra precautions to make sure that you are not a victim," she said.

Rodger said crime prevention is a community partnership, with everybody doing their part.

"Everyone has to do their part to prevent and deter crime. And this is just one additional effort, one additional way that we can help to prevent crime together."

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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