SHERMAN, TX -- Authorities are warning consumers about keeping their gifts safe now that they're unwrapped. What residents put out with the trash could be an invitation for burglaries.
After the gifts are opened, the boxes are usually an afterthought as folks are trying out what came inside the package. Authorities say the boxes are what potential burglars are looking for. They say criminals will look at what people put at the curb. When they see large boxes of valuables, especially electronics, they know what's inside the house and what they could burglarize.
Officials say to break the boxes down, turn them inside out, or put them in smaller pieces inside trash bags. Do what it takes so the brand names are not visible from the outside to conceal your valuables.
Make sure any receipts in the garbage have personal data marked out to prevent identity theft. Receipts are easier to hide than large boxes which are easily visible to anyone driving by.
“If you have a new Playstation and you put the box out there they know someone in the house got a Playstation for Christmas,” says Sgt. Rickey Wheeler with the Grayson Co. Sheriff’s Office. “Computer boxes, the new plasma televisions, any type of electronics you put out there they're going to know what's in your house."
Authorities also say many are traveling this time of year, so make sure to watch your neighbors homes for any suspicious, out of the ordinary activity.