How to keep your presents safe from Grinches

LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - Christmas is all wrapped for this year. As you get ready to enjoy all your presents, there are some steps you can take to keep your gifts safe from any would-be Grinches out there.

"Where somebody breaks in and steals everybody's Christmas from under the tree, we haven't had that so far this year," Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says. "It is imperative that people do everything they can to make it difficult for the criminals to make them a victim."

When it comes to protecting your Christmas presents from Grinches out there, it's all about being proactive. Don't make the common mistakes so many people do.

"If you have any type of boxes for any kind of computers, television sets, those kind of things," Calhoun says. "Don't leave those out on the curb. Those are just announcements to the world about what you have inside your home."

It's also important to think about what criminals can see inside your house.

"You shouldn't have your drapes open. Sometimes during the Christmas season, people want to show their Christmas tree, but close the drapes," Calhoun says. "You don't want to have any kind of packaging inside, that people could look inside and see and wonder about the value of and then break into your house and steal it."

And finally, be a good neighbor.

"If you see something that doesn't look right, you see a vehicle at your neighbor's house, you know they're out of town, don't wait," Calhoun says. "Make that phone call to law enforcement."

Calhoun says it's often a watchful neighbor that can stop a burglar in his tracks.

"Don't do the thing that lots of people do, which is absolutely nothing. Do something," he says. "We would rather check on something and it be nothing than to have to come later and do a report and have someone be a victim."

If you see anything suspicious, call CrimeStoppers at 855-485-TIPS.