Keep Grinches from stealing your Christmas gifts after the holid - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Keep Grinches from stealing your Christmas gifts after the holiday

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Tyler (KYTX) -- Even though the holiday was two days ago-- now is really the time Grinches try to steal Christmas. That trash you put outside, easily lets crooks know what you have inside.

"The big flat screen TV boxes, computer boxes, announces what you got as a gift," Officer Don Martin, spokesperson for the Tyler Police Department, said.

We saw for ourselves packaging for Yeti coolers and new toys out on the curb in a Tyler neighborhood.

"I don't think we're probably as careful as we should be," Carol Johnson, a resident in that location, said.

Johnson says she and her neighbors watch out for each other, so theft isn't the first thing to cross her mind when she puts out the trash.

"As of now I have not enclosed it in a bag or anything, I might want to think about that in the future," Johnson said.

Law enforcement officers say if you've had a blessed Christmas and want to keep it that way, to break down your boxes.

"Tear them down, and shred them and put them into your garbage can so that they aren't recognizable for someone out there looking for something like that," Martin said.

If that's too much work he suggests to put packaging in large black plastic bags to hide the labels. Martin says although they haven't linked many home burglaries to this kind of activity, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

 "If you have someone out there that's kind of perusing the neighborhoods looking to who they may want to burglarize, you're advertising what you've got for Christmas," Martin said. 

Another way to protect yourself-- if you've received new electronics like a computer or TV-- officers say write down the serial number or engrave your initials on it right away. If your property gets stolen, that'll be the first thing an officer will ask you to hand over.

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