Don't Advertise Your Holiday Haul At The Curb

We're re-posting an old email from retired Baltimore County police Capt. Marty Lurz on the dangers of putting out Christmas boxes with the trash.

Baltimore County police , but his wise words when it came to crime prevention will live on.

In 2010, Patch posted the following letter from Lurz to community leaders regarding the dangerous practice of "advertising" your holiday haul at the curb.

In a nutshell, don't let suspicious characters get a glimpse of the new additions to your living room entertainment system.

From Marty Lurz:

"Don't do trash collection day advertising of what you got for Christmas!" he wrote in an e-mail to members of the Lutherville Community Association. "If you don't break down the cardboard box that the TV came in, you're telling everyone, including potential burglars, that there's a brand new 50-inch flat screen TV inside the house attached to the driveway!

"Does it happen that way? Oh yes...it can and it does," he continued. "Take a moment and break down the box when you leave it out for recycling pick-up. If you already break it down, just make sure the cardboard is "inside-out" when you leave it at the curb."

In the last three weeks, Patch has noticed a around the Lutherville-Timonium area.

"You're familiar with our mantra and pleas to take the simple crime prevention steps of locking house doors and windows, locking car doors, etc. At this time of the year, it's more important than ever," he continued in his e-mail.

"Burglars and thieves are opportunists. They look for signs of whether the crime is 'worth their time.' They are quite aware that an unoccupied residence is more prevalent at this time of year because of folks visiting, being out of town, etc. And, if kids know that now is the time for gifts, so do the burglars and thieves."

Lurz concluded his email message making his intention clear that he does not want to spur paranoia. Instead, it's worth your time to be advantageous about not letting your home or car become a statistic.

"And so, be aware, but also enjoy yourself this holiday season," he wrote.


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