ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The boxes you're throwing away could be leading thieves right to your door. That's why the Elmira Police Department is warning residents to think twice before leaving those empty boxes outside.
"It's very common and people don't usually think about it," says Captain Anthony Alvernaz with the Elmira Police Department. "In with the new, out with the old. It's a big job to do so they just get it all done in one fail swoop as quickly as they can, which is usually Christmas Day or the day after."
But those gifts you received could be the exact hot ticket items thieves are after.
"With all of those good deals going on there's a lot of electronics people are getting," says Alvernaz. "iPhones [and] other gadgets--big screen TVs, laptops, computers. Some bad people might be going around, scoping out what houses might have some valuables. So just taking a couple extra minutes to fold the boxes, turn them inside out as to not advertise what's new in the home."
Police suggest waiting until the day of garbage pick-up to put boxes outside. Also even if you do turn them inside out, also putting the boxes in a garbage bag.
During the holidays, residents are also being reminded to take these same precautions when it comes to traveling for the New Year.
"We do have a lot of people who travel out of town," says Alvernaz. "Make sure they stop their mail, maybe leave a light on or timed lights. Maybe your neighbors check in or your relatives check in on the house, so that way other people can see people coming and going to break up that time frame of appearing like nobody is home."