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Christmas trash may make you, your home target for thieves

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 25 2012 03:47:45 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 25 2012 04:57:48 PM CST

By now, the gifts under the Christmas tree are probably unwrapped, but what you do next with the empty packages could make your house a target.

READING, Pa. -

By now, the gifts under the Christmas tree are probably unwrapped, but what you do next with the empty packages could make your house a target.

Your holiday trash could be a treasure trove for thieves. It's as simple as scanning the sidewalk. This time of year, people are sending burglars an invitation without even knowing it.     

As the holiday trash piles up outside, Christmas crooks are lying in wait, ready to strike inside.

"I wouldn't think that someone's trash would make you want to go and rob the house," said Diamond Winters, who was surprised to hear this happening.

Your holiday boxes and bags are letting thieves know exactly what homes to target. An empty TV box left by the curb is a good indication a new one is inside.

"You're never safe around here. You don't know other people's intentions," said Suanil Marrero, who leaves his trash right in front of his Reading home.

Marrero's pile of holiday trash includes empty toy boxes, but he said never an expensive item.

"Like a television or some kind of other electronic, I wouldn't put out there, you know, just for the house safety and my kid's safety," said Marrero.

Police are warning everyone to follow suit and to not fall victim. You don't want to give a Grinch an open invitation to steal your new presents.

The best thing to do, police said, is throw the empty boxes into a dumpster, take the boxes to your local dump or break the boxes down. They also advised people to call a company for early trash pick-up, and if not, wait until the morning the trash guys come to put it outside.

"My thing is I wrap it up really good, and that way you don't really see what I had gotten," said Ray Torres, who protects his home from thieves.

We've heard the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," so police said don't open the door and give a Christmas crook an easy opportunity.