The holidays usually means a lot of presents, and that means a lot of empty product boxes to get rid of. When you toss out your boxes, make sure you're not showing off all of the expensive items that are now in your home to potential thieves. Photo by Joe Shlabotnik.
According to Officer Rob Zink with the St. Paul Police Department, thieves will drive up and down streets and alleys to scope out homes they want to burgle later on. They look for evidence of valuables, like empty boxes, and note down the addresses for homes that might be good targets. For example, if you have empty boxes to a fancy TV, a video game console, and a new tablet sitting out, your home probably looks like a great target. Mary Beth Quirk at Consumerist recommends you either cut up cardboard boxes, fold them inside-out so their labels are hidden, or make sure they are completely concealed in a recycling bin. It doesn't hurt to wait until garbage day to put out your concealed or cut up boxes either.