Here are some tips to make sure thieves don’t take advantage of you during the holidays

JSO Officer Tammy Dash explains how to keep your home safe & make sure the gifts you buy get to the people who deserve them

It’s the holiday season, and we want to ensure that the gifts you buy get to the people who deserve them.

News4JAX spoke with Officer Tammy Dash, with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, who said you really have to be observant and thoughtful even before you leave the store.

“It starts while you’re shopping,” Dash said. “You want to make sure when you’re putting your purchases in the car, you’re not leaving them where they can be seen through a window. The trunk is a great spot but if I’m walking by, I can see the stores that you’ve made purchases at.”

But not every trunk is going to work.

“If you have a traditional-style trunk, that is a great place because it keeps it completely out of view,” Dash said. “If you’re driving an SUV-style vehicle, again, somebody can walk by and see the bags.”

Another place to watch out for is the front door. Porch pirates are always watching.

“There are a lot of great options now for keeping packages off of your front porch — have a neighbor sign who’s going to be home, businesses will accept them on your behalf, you can schedule deliveries,” Dash said. “There is no reason today that packages should be sitting at your door all day.”

News4JAX was also told that parking your car outside the garage could deter thieves who would rather not encounter someone in the home. In addition, make sure to lock your car doors.

And you still need to be careful and make sure that you do not keep presents under the tree, especially if the tree is located in the front of the house by a window.

“So obviously you can’t change the layout of your house, but if your tree is going to be in a front window, then people are going to assume — thieves are going to assume — that your presents are right under it, and it does make it an easy target,” Dash said. “It’s helpful to maybe keep them somewhere else or not put your tree right there.”

Even after the holidays are over and you have all your gifts safely tucked away, you need to be careful with those boxes, as well.

“Again, don’t attract thieves,” Dash stressed. “So expensive boxes can be big items or small items. Make sure they’re broken down, make sure they’re put in a trash can or inside of a bag of some type so somebody can’t drive by and see what you’ve added to your home.”

A “beware of dog” could also be a deterrent to thieves — whether you have a dog or not.

About the Author:

Anchor on The Morning Show team and reporter specializing on health issues.