Police give tips on preventing Christmas gift theft - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Police give tips on preventing Christmas gift theft

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Police advise cutting your boxes and putting them in the trash instead of 'advertising' what may be inside your house. Police advise cutting your boxes and putting them in the trash instead of 'advertising' what may be inside your house.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Christmas is a time for full bellies and gifts under the tree, but unfortunately, it is also a time when police see a spike in crime – and you may be making it easy for thieves without knowing it.

Police encourage you to keep from ‘advertising' that you're going on vacation. In other words, don't post it on any type of social media. While you can ask officers to ride by your home while you're out of town, the best option, said Sergeant Clay Warmbrod, is to ask your neighborhood watch captain or neighbors.

"We respond very quickly and we have a very good response rate in catching burglars when we've got somebody calling in as it happens," he said.

Another way to protect yourself is by not leaving empty gift boxes on your curb. Warmbrod has been with the Huntsville Police Department for nearly three decades and said leaving a big-screen TV or computer box by the trash can acts as an open invitation to criminals.

"Take the box and do like they do at stores. Use a knife, what have you, fold it up, fold it over and put it in your garbage can. No matter how big it is, if it is in the garbage can and out of sight, you're less likely to have your house burglarized when you leave and go for family dinner later on," Warmbrod said.

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