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Trash or treasure: Thieves target homes with Christmas trash in plain sight

Leaving old items or boxes to new items on the curb can be a sign to thieves that you have valuables inside.

Posted: Dec 26, 2017 7:58 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2017 5:26 PM

The day after Christmas means the day after lots of gifts opened, which means lots of boxes and trash left behind.

But the big question is, "What do people do with that trash when they’re done opening their presents?"

WAAY 31 decided to find out.

“Nothing I leave outside to advertise what I’ve got," Gary Taylor said when we asked him what he did with his Christmas trash.

Taylor says he’s big on recycling anyway, but he’s an even bigger advocate around the holidays. And he thinks other people should be, too.

“Don’t leave stuff out there that lets people know what you’ve got, because that’s an open invitation to home invasions, and burglaries, and things like that," Taylor said.

And he’s not wrong.

Lt. Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office says burglaries definitely tend to spike around the holidays, especially when boxes to new items are left in front of houses.

Lt. Shaw says instead of leaving them on display, crush them down and put them away.

Ricky Christopher says he’s aware of the reminder from the sheriff’s office and he’s already one step ahead of the game.

“I took the cardboard stuff to the recycling center, actually, I did that this morning," Christopher said.

Christopher agrees with Taylor about avoiding the possibility of being burglarized during the holidays.

He says that as long as you stay clean, you’ll stay safe.

“People might see what you got for Christmas and it might be an invitation.”

Lt. Shaw says, not only should you take your leftover boxes to the recycling center, you should also keep your curtains closed and your doors locked so people can’t see those new Christmas gifts. He also wants to remind everyone not to leave old items on the curb, like a TV or other electronics. He says that shows you’ve gotten something new to replace it.

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