Putting your gift packaging curbside for collection is a reliable way of letting thieves know what’s available in your house.
Ontario Provincial Police have issued a reminder to take care with Christmas packaging and dispose of it discreetly.
“Thieves can quickly ascertain what you received on your Christmas wish list by simply driving by and looking at the gift boxes put out to the curb for garbage pickup,” Const. Ed Sanchuk, spokesperson for the Norfolk OPP, said in a news release.
“Criminals can easily gauge which house would make a great target based on the advertisement left out for them each year.”
Police offer the following tips to keep the contents of your home private:
- Drop off boxes for big-ticket items at a county waste-transfer station.
- Shred receipts and other sensitive financial documents before putting them in the garbage.
- Boxes put curbside for collection should be cut down to size. Ensure that product information is not visible to passers-by.
- Police also advise homeowners planning a winter vacation to arrange to have their mail, flyers and newspapers collected while they are away. Mail piling up uncollected at the front door is a reliable indicator that a property is unattended.
As well, make your home look lived in while you are away. Put lights on timers and arrange for someone to plow or shovel your driveway.
“Thieves often look for the easiest target with the biggest, quickest return,” Sanchuk says. “By following these tips, you can help prevent becoming a victim of property crime this holiday season.”
reprinted from the Brantford Expositor, December 27, 2019