Dec 27, 2011 8:41 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Police warn about holiday thieves

Santa Maria police are warning residents to keep an eye on what they're throwing away, as they may be tipping off thieves. This as many are tossing their holiday gift boxes, which carried flat screen TV and lap tops; just to name a few.

"When you're throwing out the big wide screen cardboard boxes, a lot of people just sit them right next to the trash cans, hoping that the company will pick them up and toss them away," said Lt. Rico Flores. "But what you're doing is sending a message out to the potential thieves that wait [think], 'Wait a minute, this is what they got for Christmas'."

Lt. Flores said thieves will spend the day driving through neighborhoods, scoping out which houses have the best goods.

According to the Santa Maria police, this crime trend is common around the holidays.

But for some residents, this is news to them. "This is really the first I've heard of it. I was really surprised [that] that's happening. But I can believes it's happening," said Virgie Ceja.

Lt. Flores recommends that residents take the following measures:

- Shred boxes

- Close garage door. People place a lot of boxes there, and it's easy for thieves to take a peek when it's open.

- Tilt your blinds. Thieves can peek inside windows to take a look at what's inside.


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