Thieves Watching Holiday Trash To Find Targets

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – As the holiday season comes to an end, many North Texans are busy enjoying their newly acquired high-tech gifts and gadgets. But what happened to the packaging? Experts are warning consumers to think twice about how they toss the boxes.

Garbage collectors in Fort Worth had an extra-heavy work load on Tuesday morning, the first day for trash collection after Christmas. Brandon Bennett with the City of Fort Worth explained, “The first pick-up after the holiday, you can put out up to two 30-gallon bags of extra garbage out.”

But as the saying goes, one man’s trash can soon become another man’s treasure – and your holiday trash could soon make you a buglary victim. Thieves are keeping a close eye on residential trash cans, looking for their next targets.

“That’s pretty scary,” said Fort Worth resident Diana Lopez.

The boxes from large electronics are like an open invitation for crooks looking to swipe a big ticket item. Bennett said, “Unfortunately, we have story after story of people getting a new TV, putting the box out, and a few days later their house is broken into and their TV is gone.”

A quick drive through Fort Worth neighborhoods on Tuesday found several homes where new television boxes – and other large packages – were clearly on display, waiting to be collected at the curb.

“We got some big electronics and we got a TV,” said Lopez. But she and her family did the right thing. Looking at their trash, you would never know what pricey items were opened on Christmas morning. Cardboard boxes were broken down and placed inside of a trash bags and recycling containers.

The thought of thieves trolling the streets makes residents like Lopez take extra caution with holiday garbage. “We recommend people cut up the boxes, put them in the recycling container or take them to the drop-off locations,” Bennett said. Click here for a list of drop-off locations.


One Comment

  1. pat says:

    Great story Melissa.

    1. Max Gruber says:

      Really? Why did you say that? This piece of reporting is journalism 101, Community Reporting. Fluff piece.

      1. John McClane says:

        Relax dude. At worst it’s a community service piece.

    2. Bob Roberts says:

      It made me think to put the box to my new TV in a dumpster away from my house. Thanks.

    3. MINNESOTA says:

      Don’t you Perry people recycle paper products down there?

  2. NiteNurse says:

    I always cut the boxes up of any big ticket item I purchase and place the cut up box in a dark green garbage bag. My dad taught me to do this back in the 1970s saying “don’t display your trash for all the world to see.”

    1. LettuceCUP says:

      I agree. Simple common sense, there is a substantial lack of it today. Most people are just too lazy to break down the boxes to fit in the container.

  3. Lou Bator says:

    Trash from Holiday presents? Don’t you mean, Christmas presents? Come on now, being pc is so pelosi. You don’t have to do it anymore.

    1. supershwa says:

      I’m not for the PC baloney either, but let’s not forget there are plenty who celebrate Hanukkah too — that’s 8 days of presents! Not sure about Kwanzaa — I’m sure some give gifts, but it’s usually celebrated alongside Christmas anyway.

      1. Lou Bator says:

        The season is Christmas. Chanukah is a celebration, but not quite like Christmas. Now, Kwanza, there’s a piece of work, the ultimate pc “holiday”. Created by guilt tripping liberals for their own amusement, the big K is irrelevant and fading fast. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

      2. versionthirteen says:

        I think those ARE the Kwanza gifts they’re talking about

    2. weather bug says:

      oh who cares? so sensitive

  4. Chris says:

    Wow thats actually really smart if you think about it

    1. supershwa says:

      Not really – it’s a technique thieves have used for a long time. Back in the days of newspapers, we’d have neighbors pick up our papers for us when we were on vacation so would-be thieves couldn’t tell the house was unoccupied.

      It’s common sense. Unfortunately, common sense ain’t so common….

  5. supershwa says:

    Working from home (someone’s here all the time), and being a proud supporter (and participant) of the 2nd Amendment I believe you’d have to be completely out of your skull to try and rob my house. You WILL be out of your skull if you do try…

    1. Ripper says:

      Amen to that. Wouldn’t it be fun to hunt the hunted. Purposely put a big screen TV box on your curb along with maybe a home stereo box, and then wait inside for the fun to begin. It would give a whole new meaning to taking out the trash.

      1. Libertarian Advocate says:

        Purposely put a big screen TV box on your curb along with maybe a home stereo box, and then wait inside for the fun to begin.

        You just described the mens rea for conspiracy to commit murder

      2. Steven NYC says:

        If only everyone would do that. Nothing ever wrong with taking out the trash…for good.

      3. bill the carpenter says:

        Libertarian Advocate — you’re right, and it’s probably as prosecutable as police stings being mens rea for conspiracy to distribute drugs or conspiracy to engage in prostitution

      4. bill the carpenter says:

        Libertarian Advocate — you’re right, and it’s probably as prosecutable as police stings being mens rea for conspiracy to distribute drugs or conspiracy to engage in prostitution

    2. Dan Meyers says:

      Supershwa – Music to my ears. I lived in a crime ridden Tampa neighborhood in college and heard that bad guys were looking at trash to see where to rob. I put out a 25′ Sony Trinitron box and waited in the dark with my automatic BB gun (remember those — they were powered by Freon!) Sure enough, that night a bad guy broke in through the rear window and came into the dark living room. I was about five feet away when I pulled the trigger peppering his face with .177 balls of steel. He turned and ran as fast as he could. Never heard from him again but was ready just in case. Loads of fun.

      1. TheRealKingMax says:

        Damn shame you didn’t blind the SOB….

        Could have dumped him out in the wetlands – see if he could feel his way back to civilization before he stumbled across a gator….

      2. Joseph B. Munzer says:

        Good for you. However, you were very fortunate that some New York lawyer didn’t get to this guy and have you nailed to a cross!

  6. carolherbert says:


  7. Naming Conventions says:

    They’re coming to your house.

    In front of mine are empty boxes labeled ‘Fresh Feces — Get It While It’s Hot’…

  8. shaniqua says:

    I always place my big ticket item boxes in my neighbors trash, he’s been robbed twice. After I bought my I-Pad and the second time when I bought my 50 HD flat screen

    1. TheRealKingMax says:


      Good one, Shaniqua!

      Boy, have YOU given me a good idea about my azzklown neighbor…..

  9. Jake says:

    Get bunch of boxes from dumpster at Best Buy,
    Leave newspapers in driveway for few days.
    Turn all the lights out.
    Wait in darkness with loaded 870.
    — PRICELESS! —

  10. Sinbad says:

    Well Santa brought me a 50 inch plasma TV and a new shotgun

    Left both boxes by my trash barrels.

  11. avoicenmany says:

    That is a no brainer… I never put boxes of my tech items in the trash, but load them in my truck then haul them to the back of the supermarket. There in nothing like a BIG HDTV box in front of your home that says HEYYYY rob me

  12. HPS says:

    I am not even a devious person and I figured that out YEARS ago..IF we get any big ticket items I HOLD the boxes for MONTHS (when I lived in the city) .. NOW we can BURN them ..NEVER just THROW them out.. between the crooked guys and the government no one knows who’s going through your garbage…. oh ya the government are the crooked guy’s too..LOL.

  13. Eli says:

    This is old news, though I guess if it’s a slow news day it’s a new-news story. Thieves have been doing this for decades, in fact when my parents were kids, this was something police told people back in the 50’s and 60’s to avoid doing.

  14. Midge Martin says:

    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
    – Plato

  15. Captain Planet says:

    yeah, burning is safe for the environment.

    1. freddy won says:

      hey captain stoopid—-stfu

    2. Regulas says:

      Another leftist moron

  16. Jubal says:

    And let us nost forget the creative souls so many years ago during one of the perennial New York Garbage Strikes, that carefully packaged their refuse in boxes with recycled wrapping and bows. Left on the porch at night, the packages were gone the next morning.
    With honorable mention to the USC students in the 60’s that left a large suitcase on the curb at LAX. Suitcase was grabbed by a group of men that drove off immediately. The thieves lost control on the 405 when one opened the case, to find a very irritated wild bobcat.

    1. Libertarian Advocate says:

      Now THAT was funny!

  17. Bubba says:

    That’s why I really enjoyed tossing the box that my favorite Christmas toy came in …. a Remington 870 pump shotgun (black) and a case of 00 ammo …

  18. rsg says:

    We save the boxes, cut them up and throw away pieces of them at different locations: at work; public dumpsters. If a thug wants to break into your home, he’ll give it his all. We put up security cameras and have 2 dogs. Dogs are the best burglar alarms. And from what I’m reading, so are the shotguns.

    1. Grizzly Clark says:

      You seem to live a fear riddled life. I pity you.

      1. rsg says:

        Grizzly Clark—-I live in a gang-infested neighborhood. In Chicago. I can’t get out due to my economic situation (no money).

        But this kind of behavior can go on in any city, town, or block. And it does.

        But if you scroll up and read “avoicenanny”‘s post, it’s similar to mine when it comes to getting rid of the boxes.

      2. Grizzly Clark Sucksballz says:

        Your momma took on the entire defensive line of her high school football team, and one of them is your daddy.

        But we don’t pity YOU.

        Laugh at you? You bet, but we don’t pity you…..

  19. Papapa says:

    Idiotic tips for morons.

    Properly disposing of trash to avoid theft is something to be done all year long.

    Then again a genius at CBS came up with it.

  20. Inconvenient Poster says:

    Cut up boxes into fwo foot squares or smaller and learn the law regarding where a burglar must be to shoot him/them with impunity. Remember, burglars that survive being shot are likely to sue you.

  21. Swifty says:

    Leave out those big ticket boxes and give yourself a chance at using that new personal shotgun you got for Christmas. Things work out.

  22. Mike Alright says:

    Be afraid, America, that is what the nanny-state gov wants you to be. Be very afraid.

  23. walter12 says:

    This is the Obama state, and one should be very afraid of that monster. In Montana, we still shoot burglars.

    1. Grizzly Clark says:

      Yep, Obama is monitoring your trash and breaking into homes. How do those tears of impotent rage taste?

      1. Grizzly Clark Sucksballz says:

        How does it feel to be a walking rectum?

      2. Regulas says:

        No he will send his hench woman Fraulien Janet Natalipano and her gestapo TSA goons (Sieg Heil) to your house.

  24. Walden says:

    OK, great! Thanks Melissa! Now that the Lopez household has cut up their boxes and whatnot, thieves can just look up their name in the city directory and find them this way! Thanks for giving out all their info!

  25. CJ says:

    I put my Glock 20 box out there with a “come and get it” sticky.

  26. Grizzly Clark says:

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Pathetic fear mongering.

    1. Grizzly Clark Sucksballz says:

      The only pathetic here is you.

    2. Regulas says:

      You have an admirer who is on his moms computer instead of in the basement playing on his Xbox.

  27. Ed Sender says:

    Every year after Christmas I throw all of my garbage (turkey carcass etc.) into a large box, wrap it with used Christmas wrap, put it in the back of my parked pickup. When I come back a few hours later after shopping at the mall it’s always gone.

    1. Pat Magroyn says:

      Love it!

    2. Regulas says:


  28. Scott says:

    Did anyone else notice how Mrs Lopez has her first and last name in the story plus the city where she lives in. Hmmm then she mentions that they got some juicy stuff and any smart person could do a search and find out where she lives. FAIL on her part, FAIL on CBS’ part…..

  29. Jesse Sayin says:

    I put my TV and other big boxes in front of my neighbor’s house – the one who blows his leaves onto my lawn.

  30. gary-bg says:

    I keep all the boxes have you ever tried to ship something to be replaced or returned for repair IT says return with all packaging materials in original box.

  31. robert g says:

    Not a problem for me. I burn all my packages for heat to save on high energy cost

  32. Pat Magroyn says:

    If you didn’t know this already, then you DESERVE to be robbed!

  33. jeff22192 says:

    The bigger more interesting story might be the insurance fraud that ensues…think outside the box…

  34. Regulas says:

    “Holiday Trash”
    What Fing holiday would you be referring to you PC hack. If I had to make a wild guess I would say Christmas you Fing PC B!tch.

  35. pitter43 says:

    Looks like obama created some jobs after all.

  36. garylee123 says:

    What the heck are thieves doing??? Going through garbage is the governments job.

  37. Havent showered since 2005 says:

    I like to throw my boxes in front of best buy stores…that way the crooks can see it and break into the store instead

  38. buy dissertation says:

    Such a small think. 😉 But such a great idea

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