Don't advertise your Christmas gifts to potential burglars

By Kate Burgess

Q13 FOX News reporter

SEATTLE -- With Christmas over, security advisers are recommending that people break down their gift boxes and keep them out of sight and off the street until recycling pickup day, so thieves don’t see what items may be inside and target the home.

"The people that like to break into homes, they like to drive down the street and it’s pretty easy to see what people got for Christmas, because they take the boxes and put them on the street,” said Meryl Carner of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.

Empty boxes that once contained computer tablets, Barbie’s, bikes, etc., could make your house a sitting duck.

“Every year it’s kind of cyclical, you’ll see people call 911 and say my house got broken into,” Carner added.

“That’s a really good point,” homeowner Cristobal Mandragon of Lynnwood said. “These guys can easily see what we’ve got, and they can say, ‘Oh hey, they’ve got electronics and good stuff.'"

Homeowners should break down their Christmas gift boxes, stack them and only put them out on their trash or recycling pickup day, advisers say.

Some other things to consider:  Write down the serial numbers and take photos of big, expensive gifts because if the items are stolen, the police will need that information. And if you’re going out of town, consider automated lights and alarms.