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Curbside Christmas? Police remind residents to keep gift boxes off the curb to keep burglars away

Posted at 7:00 PM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 04:12:01-05

Toys, Amazon boxes, New Balance shoes — these are just some of the things sitting outside of homes in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens the day after Christmas.

“When you put your boxes out, you are kind of displaying, ‘Hey this is what I just got! This is what is in my house,’” said Officer Bethan O’Dell with the Palm Beach Garden Police Department.

O’Dell, and other law enforcement agencies say this is exactly how burglars case homes this time of year, hoping to steal your gifts for themselves.

Instead of putting your gifts on display curbside, O’Dell suggests this: “Break down the box, put it into your trash can, and make sure that trash can is tied with a lid on it.”

For those who must recycle, she suggests driving the boxes to the nearest recycling drop off box yourself.

Contact 5 cased a few neighborhoods looking for big-ticket items in recycling bins. Luckily, we did not find any big-ticket boxes on display, but people told us how they like to conceal their big-ticket items from burglars and nosy neighbors.

“I put mine in my shed, and cut them up with my razor blade. I just do mine a little bit at a time, it seems to work for me,” one man told us.

“My son-in-law he just bought a 75 inch TV, and he left [the box] it in the garage, and when you open the garage you can see it. I’m like, ‘You can’t leave it right there,’” another man said.

Police agree. “[A burglar] pulls up in a pick-up truck, and sees an open garage door. It is two o’clock in the morning. You have two, brand new bicycles that your children just got, and your wife just got you that cool generator, and it is gone all in five minutes,” said O’Dell.

Thanks to crime prevention tips like this, reported residential burglaries in Palm Beach Gardens have dropped 53 percent this year alone.