SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Homeowners bring holiday joy to their neighborhoods by leaving their curtains open to display their Christmas trees, but burglars also like to take a look, authorities warn.
Casey Jones, a detective with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana, said families should lock presents away and out of view from windows.
“The deliveries may become overwhelming, and it’s easy to pile them in the middle of your wrapping room. Prowlers may case the home in preparation of a burglary if nice things are in view,” Jones said.
He said it’s best to keep the blinds or curtains closed and lock your doors, even if you live in a “safe” neighborhood.
Greenwood Police Chief Shayne Gibson said it’s also important to get rid of the boxes once the presents are opened.
“Break down cardboard boxes for big-ticket items (televisions, laptops, etc.) and take them to the landfill or trash compactor site near you. Do NOT put them on the street for your weekly trash pickup and advertise the new electronics to the thieves.”
He also suggested writing down the make, model and serial numbers for any firearms, computers, televisions or other expensive items.
Jones said there is a spike in package thefts during the holidays. He suggested that shoppers require a signature for delivery or set up specific delivery times. If you can’t make it home, he suggests having a trusted neighbor grab it for you.
A good home security system goes a long way to deter criminals from targeting your home, said Lt. Gaydos with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to Erin Buchanan, a spokesperson for the Bossier City Police Department, it’s best to keep presents stored in the trunk while shopping to keep them out of plain view. It may be cumbersome when you’re bringing in armfuls of gifts, but once you get home, remember to remove all valuables from the vehicle and lock the doors.