Three decades ago when Phil Morrall helped start Neighbourhood Watch in Canberra owners of valuable things like televisions would etch their licence number on the back to help prevent theft.
"Marking your property makes ownership clear and gives ACT Policing a better chance of returning it to you," is the advice.
While the advice hasn't changed, the method has evolved, just like the organisation.
UV pens are now used to mark objects, visible only to those with a blacklight. The special pens are normally handed out at fetes and community gatherings, but in recent months, many Neighbourhood Watch groups, including Mr Morrall's in Kambah, have been in hibernation due to COVID-19.
"It just so happens with us that most of our active members are over 70, so it's only been in the last day or so that I've been giving thought about perhaps having a meeting again," Mr Morrall said.
He said coronavirus had been good in some ways for the neighbourhood, with teddies being placed in windows for children to walk around on a "bear hunt", and many more people out walking past and saying hello.
But COVID-19 is likely to change the way Neighbourhood Watch interacts with people, new president and Canberran Laurie Blackall said.
"It's an interesting time for all, and a lot of community organisations are evaluating how they're moving forward as we start to move out of the lockdown," Mr Blackall said.
He said many in the organisation had evolved to connecting more online due to restrictions, but keeping in touch face-to-face and via newsletter would remain a priority.
Mr Blackall originally joined Neighbourhood Watch in 1989 just as it was forming in Canberra. He was a member for about three years before he had to give it up due to his career in the Navy.
About two years ago, he joined again in the suburb of Casey and then took over from long-serving president Margaret Pearson in May.
"Back in those days it was very much a paper-based and phone-based activity," Mr Blackall said.
"Of course we didn't have social media, and email was a new phenomena."
Mr Blackall recalled growing up in Canberra in the 1970s in a time when a child was sent out on a bike ride, to be back before dark.
"It's a different environment now of course," he said.
Mr Blackall said over the past two months, probably as a result of desperation for having children at home all day, more kids had started to appear on the streets, kicking the soccer ball or riding bikes.
He said it was a silver lining from the impact of coronavirus.
"I think [COVID-19] has probably brought the neighbourhood back into focus a bit for people.
"Certainly we've seen in my own immediate area as well as the broader community, we've seen a lot more community-minded actions, keeping in touch with our neighbours especially those that are a bit more vulnerable.
"I think there's been a bit more of a focus back on that, and I think people have started to realise what's a bit more important in life."
Mr Blackall said people are realising that community really is important.
"The danger of course is that we just sink back into life as it was when this is over."
He said he hopes people continue to look out for, wave to, and assist their neighbours when the threat of coronavirus has passed.
He also hopes people will join community groups like Neighbourhood Watch, to keep the community spirit alive.
While the organisation regroups following the upheaval of the past few months, Mr Blackall said while some things stay the same, others will continue to evolve.