Tornado Warning issued for Panola, Quitman counties until 6 p.m.

Authorities issue warning for people leaving empty packages on curb

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As we celebrate the holidays, Shelby County Sheriff's deputies also want to remind you to be vigilant about protecting yourself from crime.

Deputies won't judge if you leave your Christmas decorations out past the holidays -- It's what's being left on the curb that bothers them.

"You're really advertising what you got for Christmas if you put the boxes out on the street," said Earle Farrell, spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. "The longer they're there, the more people are going to know what you got."

On Tuesday, WREG spotted plenty of houses with boxes outside showing what possible presents could be inside the homes.

From new televisions to toys, authorities say don't tip off thieves to what you have.

"You've got an element out there that doesn't take the holidays off," said Farrell. "You're looking at what they consider to be opportunities and this is what they consider to be an opportunity."

Farrell said it's best to break down the boxes and put them inside garage bins. If they don't fit, put them in black or solid colored trash bags instead.

Midtown resident Jennifer Williams says she makes sure not to leave anything on her car seats as well.

"It's sad, but I definitely think it's easy," said Williams. "If that's what they're looking for, it's an easy target."

Many neighbors said they're aware crooks are always on the prowl.

"Unfortunately, I'm not surprised about it," said Justin Williams. "It's that time of year, I guess."

Deputies also want to remind you to be alert for thieves if you're getting packages delivered.