Trash after Christmas could invite Grinches

Posted at 6:48 PM, Dec 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-26 19:49:46-05

Christmas is over, the presents are open and the trash is out.

This holiday season, you could be leaving an invitation for some Grinches to stop by.

“If you leave boxes of the latest, greatest, newest TVs, sound systems, whatever you got over the holidays, sitting on your front drive, you are in essence providing a short list for somebody going buy to see what they can see,” said Officer Justin Shepherd, with the Overland Police Department.

This holiday season police departments, like Overland Park, are seeing a spike in property crimes. People are breaking into homes to get those gifts you just unwrapped.

“It still surprises me. Just the amount of time that people take faith that nothing is going to happen to them. So they leave it out, they leave their windows open, their blinds not drawn shut. You can see that beautiful new Christmas tree sitting on the wall with the box in the driveway. And with the windows open, you can drive buy and see that no one is home, either,” said Shepherd.

41 Action News decided to drive around neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Within minutes, we spotted the following:

  • A box for a brand new flat-screen TV
  • A box for an guitar, sold online for $132
  • A box for an electric motor bike
  • A box for a set of stainless steel cookware, sold online for $277.

“It's a problem because all of the people affected by it, it directly affects their lives. It affects their family lives, it affects the way they can make it through the holidays. And even if it's a small percentage, you can end up being part of the percentage,” said Shepherd.

To avoid becoming a potential victim, take the boxes to a recycling bin or break them down and place the boxes into dark garbage bags.