SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The day after Christmas we took a drive around one Gulfport neighborhood. It was trash day and we could tell what several people got for Christmas. Lying next to garbage cans were several empty boxes clearing showing one family got a new TV; Another received a Ninja blender. While some may not think twice about it, police say putting those boxes outside could make you a victim.
"If you have the PS4 or Xbox One and a 70 inch TV, they are now going, 'Oh, I know that's now in that house,' and it's a one stop shop. If they break in, they are getting three things at once," Biloxi Sgt. Thomas Goldsworthy said. "Dispose of the boxes the best way where it's not too obvious, shred them up a little bit more, tear them up, try to shove them into the actual trash can."
This month in Gulfport and Biloxi, according to Crime Mapping, there have been 324 reports of theft, vehicle break-ins, robberies and burglaries; 84 of the crimes happened this week.
"Awareness around your home and neighborhood," Sgt. Goldsworthy said. "Be a great neighbor and hopefully talk to them about being a good neighbor to you. Your neighbors are going to know who belongs and who doesn't belong, interact with your neighbors."
Another easy way to become a victim during the holidays, Sgt. Goldsworthy said, is by using your credit card.
"Check your credit card statements, check your bank statement, because even though you are purchasing things somebody may be stealing that information. Especially if you are doing internet shopping or even just going to the stores," Sgt. Goldsworthy said. "You want to follow up the next day and make sure there aren't other purchases that you didn't do."
Also, as always, Sgt. Goldsworthy said make sure to lock your homes and your cars and don't leave things where thieves can see them in your car. Always be on alert.
"A lot of times people will see something happen and they won't call 911," Sgt. Goldsworthy said. "If you see a crime going down, call 911, call the local police department, get the best description, a good Samaritan goes a long way."
Social media is also an easy way for thieves to find targets. Experts advise you shouldn't post all your Christmas gifts online or post when are going out of town.