Boxes from holiday gifts that are tossed out as trash can be an invitation to criminals looking for loot, according to police.
With holiday trash collection schedules jumbled in cities across North Texas, residents are still putting information for criminals at the curb by discarding gift-wrappings and boxes.
Detective Mark Beseda, with the Grand Prairie Police Department, said large boxes from electronics and other valuable gifts should be broken down and hidden in bags or taken to recycling drop off locations instead of left at the curb for thieves to see.
“They drive around, they check out your neighborhood, they watch your trash, they know when the trash days are. So they may know what you have inside and they may know when you go to work and when you come home from work,” he said.
Old items left for pick up can also send clues to criminals.
Neighbor Curtis Tieken saw an old big screen television outside of a home in his area and never stopped to think that burglars probably think that means a new TV is inside.
“I never even thought about that. The problem I usually have is I’m not a crook, so I don’t think like a crook, so I do things that are wrong, I guess,” Tieken said.
Beseda urges residents not to help the thieves.
“We’re all going back to work this week and next week, so the bad guys know that, so it’s time for them to go back to work as well and that means breaking into houses,” he said.