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Gift trash placed at curb after Christmas could attract thieves

A trash can and empty TV box are seen Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Octavio Flores)

Police warn that a visible pile of after-Christmas trash in front of your home could be a beacon to thieves.

"Don't fill your trash all the way up with cardboard boxes or packages that display what you have," Bakersfield Police Department Sgt. Ryan Kroeker said. "They're in the trash probably because they are empty, which somebody could look at that and by putting two and two together, you could say, 'OK, there's a giant television box sitting in this trash can, and it's empty. Odds are there's a large television inside.'"

During this time of year, thieves will drive around looking for appealing boxes on the curb or stuffed in a trash can, putting homeowners at risk for a break-in.

Kroeker recommends either cutting up the boxes or delivering them to the dump or recycling centers. BARC is one such place people can recycle their boxes.

Kroeker also recommended putting your car in a garage and locking its doors.

"Most people have a garage door opener in their car, and somebody breaks into your house or your side door, and they open up your car, and it's unlocked, oftentimes there's keys and those types of things, and they can easily get into the house," said Kroeker.

Also, he advised people to keep their bushes and shrubs trimmed, "Making it difficult for someone who is going to be a burglar or hide to be able to conceal themselves."

Make sure to secure the house, making it hard to get in.

"Oftentimes, thieves want to take the path of least resistance, so if they come up to your house and the door is locked, your windows are secured, and it looks like your house is in pretty good shape ... they are probably going to look at that and hopefully bypass it," said Kroeker.

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