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How To Avoid Christmas Crime

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OVERLAND, MO (KTVI)-- Christmas crooks can stoop pretty low but Overland Police Chief Mike Laws believes his residents can fight back.

One of the annual traditions that he has seen ruin a Christmas is when thieves target houses with empty boxes sitting out on the curb.

In some cases those boxes are from new televisions, computers or other high end electronic devices.

Laws says it`s like broadcasting to criminals that valuables are inside.

"What we suggest is that you cut the boxes up, turn them inside out and then put them into the recycling," said Laws.

He added that putting the box in the recycle bin might not be enough.

"They may look in the recycle bin to see what's there," said Laws.  "The less obvious you make it, the better off you will be."

The other crime that Laws is fighting right now is one that never seems to go away.  Copper thieves continue to target abandoned homes.  He says one scenario is one where thieves pretend to be a work crew fixing up an abandoned property.  He encourages residents to write down license plates and call police whenever they see anything suspicious.