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CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – In just a few short days, many of us will be tearing into freshly purchased high tech gadgets. Law Enforcement officers want you to think twice about how you toss out your boxes. Criminals could be keeping an eye on your trash.

Soon folks all across the country will be opening those holiday gifts but it’s how we through out their packaging that has criminals are the look and law enforcement preaching safety.

The holidays season is reaching its peak. Shoppers are filling local malls and businesses are bustling. In the middle of all fun, real life grinches are on the prowl with hopes of stealing your stuff.

Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott says, “Everybody needs to know that criminals are looking. They’re riding and looking to see who is home and who isn’t. They’re looking to see what type of trash is out on the road such as boxes with Tv’s, computers and this type stuff.”

But as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Your holiday trash could you make a target for burglars. Thieves are keeping a close eye on residential garbage cans. Also, if you are leaving town for Christmas, it’s probably best not to tell everybody.

Scott says, “Don’t place it on facebook. That’s a place where criminals go to look. They know you’re not going to be home three days they know the place is wide open.”

Boxes from large electronics are like an open invitation for crooks looking to swipe a big ticket item. Electronics, jewelry and cash are always tempting.

According to Scott, “Have somebody watch your home. Clay County has a program where if you’re on vacation or gone any extended period of time you can call and we’ll actually do house checks.”

So to ensure your gifts stick around past the holidays, watch how you discard the boxes. Many communities will be offering trash receptacles for recycling and an easy pick up.

Law enforcement say, write down serial numbers to any item that has one. And for jewelry and other valuables take pictures, so they can identify your property if it is stolen.

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