Hanover Sheriff’s Office using social media to prevent car break-ins

HANOVER Co., (WRIC) — What started as a hashtag in Pasco County, Florida, has now made its way to Central Virginia.

“We thought there was no sense in re-inventing the wheel,” said Sergeant James Cooper with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

The hope is that every night at 9 o’clock, residents in Hanover County will make it a habit to lock their car doors.

“Its as simple as me taking a video with our iPhones here and showing us locking our doors,” said Cooper.

Then, the videos are posted on the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, along with #9pmRoutine.

Early in July, a string of car larcenies in the Atlee Station Road area left residents without electronics and spare change.

Of the 17 cars with things taken, 16 of them were unlocked.

“Its always our goal to apprehend criminals when they commit a crime but its also our goal to deter them from even wanting to do that,” said Cooper.

With 11,000 Facebook followers, the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says social media is an effective way to communicate with and answer the concerns of the people they protect.

Sergeant James Cooper

“We feel like if one person has this question, they’re probably not the only person who has this question,” said Cooper.

After only a few weeks urging this #9pmRoutine — the Facebook posts are reaching thousands.

“When we see that, then we think then maybe that’s two to three thousand people that may not be victimized tonight,” said Cooper.

So far this year, Hanover County has had 85 car larcenies.

While that is “on track” for them at this point in the year — they’re hoping this social media campaign will reduce those numbers going forward.

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