Your holiday trash can make you a target for theft

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - "What we like to get out to the community, especially this time of the year is when you're opening your Christmas presents and you have those large boxes or even those small boxes of valuable presents that you receive, to make sure that you're disposing of them properly," says Officer Tim Broadway with the Reno Police Department. "Cutting them up so its not easy for criminals who may be casing your neighborhood to see that you have some valuables inside your residence."

Officer Broadway says it's not uncommon for people to leave their big boxes that contained big-ticket items outside of their homes on garbage days. He thinks they just don't think about the message they're sending to thieves.

"They think they've got to get rid of the tree, all the boxes, all the presents," he says. "They don't think that that Dell laptop box or big screen TV box would be a potential hazard for them to be victimized by criminals."

Chris Geraci, who drives a recycle truck for Waste Management, says he sees this bad holiday habit a lot on his routes.

"Every day," he says.

Officer Broadway says that simply cutting up your boxes before you put them in the trash or recycle bins can make a big difference in lowering your risk of attracting the attention of thieves.