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Why you should be careful with holiday trash

Greece, N.Y. -- Police warn that taking out the trash can attract burglars looking to steal some brand new gifts.  Boxes for big ticket items like TVs, tablets and other electronics can be an invitation for criminals. 

Youre basically advertising to thieves and to people whats inside your house, said Tina Schreib of Greece. Thats why shes piled up all of her empty boxes and placed them in the corner of her garage until the trash pickup Monday.

You just wouldnt want people driving by and saying, Oh look, that house has a brand new 60-inch TV or brand new kids toys or ATVs, she said.

While the boxes arent worth much, the cardboard sitting out on the curb shows people exactly what is inside the home.

According to police, burglars will case the curbs along neighborhood streets and target homes for weeks after the holiday.  

To not have that happen, I would slice them up put them in a bag so people cant see, said Ken Cannaroozzo. Gift or not, he said he always tears up the boxes to big, expensive items. 

Thats the problem. It could be your neighbor, it could be anybody, and this is the world we live in now, Cannarozzo said. Its not that surprising, but it is sad these things do happen at Christmas. 

Police advise people to shred boxes so the original pictures and writing on the box cannot be identified or take boxes directly to a recycling facility.

Schreib said she is going to keep all of her stuff hidden until right before the garbage truck comes for pickup.

If you're a good person and you're not thinking of stealing, you're probably not going to think anything of it, she said. But, you know, sometimes I think youve got to think like a bad guy in order to protect yourself.

Its also smart to not throw everything away at once and to not post about specific gifts on social media. That can also be used to tip off thieves and help them determine what homes to target and when. 

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Washington Times