Beware: Crooks are using Christmas trash to target homes

Beware: Crooks are using Christmas trash to target homes

RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Christmas morning is approaching fast and unfortunately, a Grinch or two might be out and about looking for gifts for themselves.

Officials are warning homeowners to think twice before throwing out their Christmas trash.

“I really think it is worth it to stop and think about what kind of message you could be sending to a potential burglar,” said local homeowner Steven Tadlock.

If you leave your Christmas trash outside for the world to see, you might not be the only one enjoy your presents.

While most people are spending their Christmas holiday celebrating with friends and family, crooks are looking for their next home to strike.

“It’s anything that will draw attention," said Rankin County Investigator Christian Dedmon. “A big tv box, anything that you would set out by the trash that’s expensive or large that could draw someone’s attention.”

The holiday season is the time of year where many burglars target homes, scoping out what Santa brought you this year right before they break in.

“The criminal element here, their mindset is different than ours," continued Dedmon. "When we drive to a store, we have one thing in mind: get to the store. When they are out, they are looking to see what they can steal. If they see a 55-inch flat screen tv at the end of your driveway, they know you just got a brand new tv.”

It’s a scary realization many homeowners say they never think about.

“Initially, you don’t think about it like that but, yeah, it’s possible it could happen" said Tadlock. “I mean, if you really think about it, anything you put outside as garbage it is essentially a shopping list for burglars.”

So what can you do to stop a Grinch from creeping around your home?

“Try to make those boxes as small as you can," advised Dedmon. "Maybe fit it all the way in the trash can. Don’t take it to the street until the morning you know trash is running. If you are home, watch it and maybe meet them with it in hand. Just remember to draw the least amount of attention to your home as possible.”

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