Empty gift boxes left curbside after Christmas morning can place a target on homes for thieves, according to the North Port Police Department.
“Everybody needs to be a little bit more cautious and lock your doors,” North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor said.
Neighbors like Darin Ruttenburg says he is guilty of tossing the trash out after Christmas.
“What I do is I just put it in the recycle bin and if there’s anything else, I just put it on the curb and you know if it’s out there, we just don’t even think about it really,” Ruttenburg said.
Police advise residents to take an extra step and break down the boxes, take them to a recycling center or cut them into smaller pieces to place inside a trash bag to reduce visibility.
“Try not to advertise that you got a new 65-inch flat-screen TV in your house,” Taylor said.
Residents are also advised to turn the boxes inside out so the label doesn’t show or wait right before pickup to put the boxes outside.