IMPD: Watch your trash, criminals could use empty boxes to target homes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Now that Christmas is over with, you might be thinking about throwing out all those boxes your gifts came in. But police are now warning Hoosiers to think before they toss.

Police say those boxes you throw away could make you a target for thieves. Adding that boxes for items like TVs, computers, and other electronics might as well be a bullseye for those take advantage.

“What that does, is that lets criminals who may be coming through the neighborhood know that you got a new toy inside your house that they may want themselves,” IMPD Sgt. Jim Gillespie said.

Police recommend breaking down gift boxes and taking them to a community recycling site as a way of disguising what home the item came from.

“It’s just like when you have packages delivered to your porch. They see the boxes out there they want to come and grab the real quick. So when they see those boxes out by the trash. That can make you a target,” Gillespie said.

IMPD says this time of year they do see an uptick in thefts related to newly purchased items.

Car thefts and vehicle break-ins also spike this time of year.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Christmastime is one of the biggest times of the year for car thefts, with 1,548 car thefts recorded last year on Christmas day. Gillespie says it’s important for people to make sure they clear their car of any items that could potentially attract would-be thieves.

“ It only takes 3 second to smash that window, grab your goods, and then their gone with their new gifts,” he said.

Experts say being careful of what’s in your car should extend well beyond Christmas. New Year’s Day takes the top spot as having the most vehicle thefts with 2,469 in 2017, according to the NICB.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.