SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Homes bring holiday joy to their neighborhoods by leaving their curtains open to display their Christmas trees, but potential burglars also like to take a look.

Casey Jones, a detective with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, says families should lock presents away out of view from windows.

“The deliveries may become overwhelming, and it’s easy to pile them in the middle of your wrapping room. Prowlers may case the home in preparation of a burglary if nice things are in view.”

He says it’s best to keep the blinds or curtains closed and lock your doors, even if you live in a “safe” neighborhood.

Greenwood Police Chief Shayne Gibson says it’s also important to get rid of the boxes once the presents are opened.

“Break down cardboard boxes for big ticket items (televisions, laptops, etc) and take them to the landfill or trash compactor site near you. Do NOT put them on the street for your weekly trash pickup and advertise the new electronics to the thieves.”

He also suggests writing down the make, model and serial numbers for any firearms, computers, televisions or other expensive items.

Jones says there is a spike in package thefts during the holidays. He suggests that shoppers send packages that require a signature for delivery or to set up specific delivery times. If you can’t make it home, he suggests having a trusted neighbor grab it for you.

A good home security system goes a long way to deter criminals from targeting your home, says Lt. Gaydos with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.

According to Erin Buchanan, Public Information Officer for the Bossier City Police Department, it’s best to keep presents stored in the trunk while shopping to keep them out of plain view. It may be cumbersome when you’re bringing in armfuls of gifts, but once you get home, remember to remove all valuables from the vehicle and lock the doors.