Christmas trash may give crooks bright ideas - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Christmas trash may give crooks bright ideas

It may look like nothing more than holiday trash. But these empty boxes are valuable clues to mid-south criminals.

"Once you put that box outside, they know what you have inside, they don't have to guess," says Lt. Otis Anderson with Memphis Police.

Lieutenant Anderson says it happens year after year. People open their presents, then chunk the empty boxes.

That simple act then helps christmastime crooks cash in. Basically, they like for you to make it easy for them.

"Definitely, and they like for you to let them know what you have," says Lt. Anderson.

"Well, it's something I never gave much thought to," says midtown homeowner Janice White.

"Did not think about it at all," says Jill Iglehart.

Many of their neighbors haven't thought about it either. We found piles of holiday trash in front of house after house.

"What they're doing, in a sense, is advertising what they have in the house," says Lt. Anderson.

Instead of kicking your empty christmas boxes to the curb, police suggest you keep them inside. A garage is a good place. Keep it inside until your garbage is collected.

"We'll do that from now on," says Iglehart.

Burglaries are usually crimes of opportunity. But taking away any temptation, like empty boxes, could send crooks the other way.

"I don't think the world was always like that, but it is now, and you certainly have to be defensive," says White. "Even when it comes to putting out your trash, which is really kind of a sad thing," she adds.

But it's a necessary thing according to police.

Lt. Anderson tells Action News 5 this was a part of Monday evening's roll call. Police officers were told to stop at any house where there is a lot of holiday trash. It's meant to help homeowners kick the habit.

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