Crime Stoppers: Protecting Your New Gifts from Thieves

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LINCOLN, Neb. Christmas is the season of giving, but for crooks looking for a quick buck, it's the exact opposite.

The Lincoln Police Department says they have an increase in thefts during this time of the year.

Officer Matt Stegman says your home could be a hot spot for thieves.

“We've had burglaries in the past where people have looked in and saw a Christmas tree with several presents,” said Officer Stegman.

Stegman says it's not unheard of for thieves to stake out neighborhoods, looking for clues that you have goodies inside.

From an open window displaying your tree surrounded by presents to your dumpster with the boxes left over from your gifts, you could be accidentally advertising to crooks.

Stegman says a simple way to keep thieves at bay is to break down your boxes or wait to set them out until right before trash is picked up. You can even take them to a recycling center.

If you recycle them,” said Officer Stegman, “put them in a recyclable container so they’re not just sitting there to give nosy people the idea that you have a bunch of new items in your house.”

Police say it's also a good idea to write down serial numbers of those high priced items-- just in case they are stolen.