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.

  • pat

    Great story Melissa.

    • Bob Roberts

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

    • Max Gruber

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

      • John McClane

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


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

  • NiteNurse

    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.”

    • LettuceCUP

      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.

  • Lou Bator

    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.

    • weather bug

      oh who cares? so sensitive

    • supershwa

      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.

      • versionthirteen

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

      • Lou Bator

        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!

  • Chris

    Wow thats actually really smart if you think about it

    • supershwa

      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….

  • supershwa

    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…

    • Ripper

      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.

      • Libertarian Advocate

        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

      • Steven NYC

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

      • bill the carpenter

        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

      • bill the carpenter

        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

    • Dan Meyers

      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.

      • Joseph B. Munzer

        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!

      • TheRealKingMax

        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….

  • carolherbert


  • Naming Conventions

    They’re coming to your house.

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

  • shaniqua

    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

    • TheRealKingMax


      Good one, Shaniqua!

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

  • Jake

    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! —

  • Sinbad

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

    Left both boxes by my trash barrels.

  • avoicenmany

    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

  • HPS

    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.

  • Eli

    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.

  • Midge Martin

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

  • Captain Planet

    yeah, burning is safe for the environment.

    • freddy won

      hey captain stoopid—-stfu

    • Regulas

      Another leftist moron

  • Jubal

    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.

    • Libertarian Advocate

      Now THAT was funny!

  • Bubba

    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 …

  • rsg

    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.

    • Grizzly Clark

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

      • Grizzly Clark Sucksballz

        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…..

      • rsg

        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.

  • Papapa

    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.

  • Inconvenient Poster

    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.

  • Swifty

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

  • Mike Alright

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

  • walter12

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

    • Grizzly Clark

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

      • Grizzly Clark Sucksballz

        How does it feel to be a walking rectum?

      • Regulas

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

  • Walden

    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!

  • CJ

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

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