ABILENE, Texas -

The Grinch can strike your home even after Christmas has ended. That is why police recommend being careful about what you put in your dumpster after you unwrap gifts.

During the holidays, burglars target homes if they see boxes from big ticket items in the dumpsters--evidence of new valuables inside the home.

"You don't want to advertise to any would-be burglar that you have plenty of different property items that they may be interested in seeking for themselves," Officer George Spindler with the Abilene Police Department said.

Big boxes, such as electronics boxes, that stick out of dumpsters can attract the wrong kind of attention. Cutting or breaking those boxes into smaller pieces will make them less visible to bad company.

"Anytime you can stuff stuff into the garbage can and it's not left out there for prying eyes to see is your best bet," Spindler said. "You shouldn't be leaving things outside anyway."

If some boxes are too big to handle, you can always take them to a recycling center.

"It's a win-win in the sense that you don't advertise that you have these products you just bought in your home and you can also do something good for the environment and recycle," Spindler said.

The Abilene Recycle Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and is located at 2209 Oak Street.

If your trash is too large for your dumpster, you can dispose of it at Abilene landfill on FM 3034.

Trash that weighs less than 1,000 pounds costs $13.50 and anything that weighs more than 1,000 pounds costs $27. The landfill is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.