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Posted at 9:33 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Don't put gift boxes on curb: Police

By Allison Klein
Allison Klein

D.C. Police e-mail listservs have been active recently with residents welcoming back Assistant Chief Diane Groomes, who came back to work last week after she was cleared in an alleged cheating scandal.

Police officials also are telling residents how to protect those new laptops, flat screens and cameras from burglars: hide the boxes they came in.

Don't put them on the curb in front of your house because, they say, that tells would-be criminals what you've got.

"In too many cases, residents make it easy for burglars to figure out which homes to target by putting boxes that identify their new gifts in plain view with their other garbage," warn police.

Here are some tips:

  • Don't leave boxes from new electronics in the alley or other garbage pick-up locations. Instead, break down any boxes you are throwing out, put them in garbage bags and place them inside a trash can.
  • Think about keeping broken-down boxes inside -- in a garage, for example -- until the evening before your regular garbage pick-up. Burglars look inside garbage cans for evidence of holiday gifts.
  • If you see someone suspicious casing your alley, call the non-emergency number, 3-1-1. If you see a burglary in progress, call 9-1-1.

By Allison Klein  | December 27, 2010; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Allison Klein, The District, Updates  
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Or just put the boxes with a neighbors trash.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 27, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll see that comment and raise them and the council:

In many cases, MPD just lets burglars go as they and DC laws follow the antiquated idea that burglars are never also violent thugs.

Posted by: plugugly7 | December 27, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Boxes are not garbage. They should be recycled with other cardboard, etc.

Posted by: KTmd | December 27, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

More inconsistent advice on when to call 911 versus 311. 311 started out as a general non-emergency city services number, including police. Then, a couple years ago, the police said that for ANY police response to a location, including non-emergency, 911 should be called. Now, we're hearing police officials tell us to call 311 for non-emergency police calls where clearly the police should respond (suspicious individuals casing houses).

What a fiasco, symptomatic of some serious dysfunction in how DC's call center (the "Office of Unified Communications") is managed, how poorly its actions are coordinated, and how not even the police seem to understand the 311 vs 911 policies.

And all sadly unsurprising in a city where 911 calls are routinely put on "hold" for minutes before being answered.

Posted by: vfr2dca | December 27, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thats real smart of MPD, someone can get killed in under a minute, thats why I believe in the right to bear arms...

Posted by: Frank60 | December 27, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Conceal your trash?

Yeah, DC in 2010 isn't too much of a ghetto....

Posted by: IncredulousAsEver | December 28, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

We just drive to a dumpster at a neighboring school or building.

Posted by: lulu202 | December 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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