Thieves on the prowl for holiday gifts - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Thieves on the prowl for holiday gifts

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Three home burglaries, three break-ins, and two other thefts happened in less than 24 hours, according to Capt. Sean Crosier, with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

He said it's no coincidence these crimes happen hours after Christmas.

"We are still in the midst of a very prime theft season because the purchase of Christmas gifts," Capt. Crosier said. "Once a suspect breaks into your home, he can readily see your Christmas presents."

But thieves can also spot your presents without ever stepping foot in your house, especially when your trash sits on the curb.

"People just aren't paying attention," said Danny Jones, the mayor of Charleston. "I don't know if it invites crime, but they're not paying attention."

The city of Charleston pushed back trash collection one day for the holidays, but many people in Kanawha City still brought their garbage out Wednesday, a day earlier than scheduled for the area.

Jones said people need to keep a close watch on their possessions, both inside and outside their homes.

"Most of the vigilance about your own property, your own home, and your own automobile needs to come from the people who own the belongings," Jones said.

So 13NEWS drove through Kanawha City to see what people received on Christmas judging by the boxes on the street. Reporter Alanna Autler found a keyboard, a Sirius radio, and even headphones emblazoned with the Mountaineers logo.

Burglary was the last thing on Taeshawn Brown's mind the day after Christmas.

"I didn't know putting out your Christmas trash could affect your home life," said Brown, of Kanawha City. "It's probably smart to put your trash in a hidden area."

But others are actively hiding their booty from thieves.

One family threw their trash in their backyard, shielded from public eyes; residents of one apartment building are keeping their Christmas waste in the basement until trash collectors come.

Carol Gibson, of Kanawha City, left her Christmas leftovers on the curb for everyone to see.

"I never thought of it, I'm not afraid," Gibson said. "I've got four cameras where I've got my car parked."

And Gibson said when those fail, she always has a back-up security system: her dog.