Have you ever heard of the 9 PM Routine? It's a commitment to checking that all your car doors are locked and your valuables taken out of your car or hidden away before you go to bed each  night, and it could save you some major grief.

The Temple Police Department shared surveillance footage Tuesday morning showing a pair of people prowling around Paseo Del Plata recently. They're seen walking up to vehicles and trying the doors. One of them hits the jackpot when a white sedan's unlocked passenger door gives them easy access to everything inside.



I don't know what, if anything was stolen, but just think about it. Some stranger pawing around inside your car, and to make it worse, during a pandemic. Enjoy the free germs.

Temple's seen a lot of this sort of thing in recent months. I don't know if it's because thieves figure people are more lax at home with the COVID-19 situation continuing or if it's always been this bad and more people are investing in security cams.

What I do know is that having your car broken into makes you feel like a chump. Growing up in the awful neighborhood I called home, we locked everything at all times. If I was taking a load of groceries inside, I locked that car down tight before turning my back, even if I had more groceries to go grab and take into the house. The car wasn't 20 yards from the door, but I wasn't taking any chances. If I walked from one side of the house to the other, the door I came out of was locked. Period. No discussions. If I'm pumping gas, my doors are locked.

When I was 21, I moved to Temple. I had just signed the lease on a great house in a safe, wonderful neighborhood full of retired people. I loved it. Nice and quiet. However, I made a huge mistake. I left a few things in my car figuring I'd go back and unpack them later. I ended up falling asleep. Next thing I know, my neighbor's knocking on my door to let me know my back window'd been shattered and all my s--t is gone. (Remembering makes me angry, mostly at myself.)

If someone's willing to shatter a window to loot your ride, they'd be more than happy for you to just make it easy for them and leave your door unlocked, your window cracked, or hey, why not just leave your keys in the sun visor?

This ain't Mayberry, folks. No neighborhood is safe from scumbums skulking around trying doors. Don't try them. Don't tempt them. Lock it up or lose it.

By the way, if you recognize the creeps in the video above or have any information that would help police get in touch, give Temple PD a call at (254) 298-5500.

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