LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Christmas may have passed, but if Santa came to your house you’d still better watch out.

Garbage from your gifts could be an invitation for unwanted attention.

Whether you’re still shopping for those big ticket items or the wrapping paper has already been torn off, the next thing you do with the boxes could be crucial.

The Linden Police Department has some tips for thwarting thieves who may be curious about what Santa brought you.

“Put those boxes where big TVs came in into a black garbage bag,” Sergeant Monika Oliviera said. “Throw it away that way.”

She also reminds homeowners to take off and shred shipping labels so it’s not visible to someone walking down the street.

That extends to all your personal information — bills may be stacking up this time of year. Shred anything with your name, address, or other details.

One shopper has another idea.

“For me, what I do is I break the box down in my garage and I flip it on the other side so no one actually knows the contents of the box,” Carl Gayle said.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, Linden is taking another step to protect its residents.

They’ve created a virtual block watch — if you have a home security camera system you can help the police department fight crime.

Trash pickup in many municipalities starts back up Tuesday. In the meantime, police recommend holding onto your boxes inside before bringing them directly to the dump to avoid any issues.

 

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