Police: Protect your home by safely tossing empty boxes

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Some of you may have scored big if Santa dropped off new TVs, tablets or other big ticket items this year.

As we head into the New Year, many people are starting to tear down decorations and toss those unwanted empty boxes in the trash.

But if you’re someone who received those big-ticket presents, you might want to reconsider how you’re throwing out the packaging.

It’s something police around the country are warning the public about.

The issue is when boxes with big labels are left out on the curb for everyone to see, thieves looking for opportunities to cash in, then know exactly what you got for Christmas and what they’ll find if they break into your home.

Instead of tossing out your boxes in plain sight.

Police suggest breaking them down and turning them inside out or placing them inside a dark trash bag before stuffing them inside a bin.

KSN drove around Wichita and found that the majority of people kept their holiday boxes concealed and the boxes that were found were pretty small.

Burglaries across Wichita have actually decreased during the holiday season over the last three years, according to the Wichita Police Department (WPD).

While that’s good news, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The easiest thing you can do is haul it all off to the recycling center, but if that’s not an option, just making sure your boxes are hidden from plain sight is a safe bet.

The same goes for boxes and presents left in cars.

Wichita has experienced car break-ins because of belongings left for everyone to see, according to WPD.

That’s why you should always keep those gifts in your trunk where they’re not visible.

Another way thieves often take advantage of the holidays is by taking personal information from checks that aren’t disposed of properly.

A huge trend now when it comes to banking is going mobile.

That’s because mobile banking allows you to do everything from transfer money, to deposit your checks through your phone.

KSN found a few tips on the Wells Fargo website for how you can protect your information safe after depositing your checks this holiday season.

If you’re going to deposit a check through your phone, make sure you write “mobile deposit” with the date over the front of the check.

They say you should hold onto that check for at least five days after your deposit.

After you make sure it’s gone through, go ahead and destroy it, making sure numbers and letters are no longer legible.