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Authorities: Your holiday trash could attract thieves if not disposed of properly

Posted at 3:56 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 20:00:10-05

Before the holidays, you have to worry about porch pirates. After the big days are over, you still have to consider the chance that you could be the target of a robbery if you don’t dispose of the gift boxes properly.

It can be very tempting to just throw all of the shredded pieces of wrapping paper and torn up gift boxes straight into the trash. What many don't realize is that act is like advertising your new toys and gadgets to everyone passing by.

“Some really expensive sneakers, of course. We got her an Apple Watch, some new clothes. We also got a Nintendo Switch that we got,” said Shekeya McCallister.

McCallister wasted no expense spoiling her daughter this Christmas, but every year, she says she waits to throw away those gift boxes

“People do watch your moves, believe it or not. Like when you leave your house and when you come back home. Some people know your schedule better than you,” McCallister said,

“You want to make sure that all of the boxes are not just on your curb for an extended amount of time advertising what you've received,” explained Dr. Tammy Bracewell, Professor of Criminal Justice at A&M Central Texas.

Dr. Bracewell is a former law enforcement officer and says thieves are always on the lookout, especially during the holiday season. She says having a motion sensor light near where your trash is located, recycling, or just breaking down your boxes could deter unwanted attention.

“Because if you break them down and put them in the bag and then you put them in the garbage can, someone who is driving by, they are not going to realize what all you’ve received," said Dr. Bracewell.

“It’s just a really good safety precaution. It just prevents your house from being a target, especially when you’re not there,” said McCallister.