Authorities are warning the public that kicking gift boxes to the curb this Christmas might not be a good idea.
"It's always a good idea not to take high-end items -- the boxes -- and lay them out at the end of the driveway for criminals to potentially see what you got for Christmas, and possibly break into your house and take them,” said Clive Police Sgt. Damon Herzog.
He said those empty Christmas gift boxes serve as an advertisement to burglars.
Police suggest breaking the boxes down and covering them up or to wait about a week before taking them to the trash.
If you plan on leaving home for a long period of time over Christmas or the New Year, be sure to communicate with your neighbors.
“Let them know when you are going to be gone and they can come over,” Herzog said. “Maybe pay a neighbor to come shovel your driveway. Always leave a light or TV on. Make it appear like someone's home.”
Recent FBI data shows the average home invasion during the Christmas holiday results in over $1,600 in lost items.