Police: Break down boxes after the holidays to prevent home break-ins

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, or at least police warn our trash after the holidays could lead thieves to treasures in our homes.

Many of us will wake up Christmas morning to gifts under the tree. Some eyes will light up at the sight of a brand new TV for our living room. However, thieves may also get a twinkle in their eye at the sight of an empty TV box on our curb.

"It’s an alert to them that that home just got something really nice for Christmas," Rockford Police Lt. Joel Givens, said.

The box may be empty, but it lets burglars know there's something great inside.

"Criminals can drive through the neighborhoods or anywhere in the city and say oh my goodness, a 55 inch TV, yes I’m going to come back and burglarize that location," Lt. Givens explained.

There's a simple thing we can do to make sure our new TV’s or Nintendo’s aren't stolen.

"Break them down to where the actual component itself isn't visible to the people driving or walking in the neighborhoods."

Rock River Disposal says we can take boxes to the dump ourselves, but we'll have to pay a little extra. They suggest the same as police, break the box down into smaller pieces and put it in a trash bag before putting it on the curb.