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Christmas presents in the window could lure thieves

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Christmas morning is just days away, and some real Grinches are on the loose. Police say thieves are breaking into houses and snatching presents from right under the tree.

While decorations may look nice, police say putting your tree and presents in the window can make you an easy target.

"Thieves are smart, too. They know that it's Christmas time. They know people have been out shopping. They have gifts in their homes," said Cheatham County Sheriff's Lt. Shannon Heflin.

In the last two days, three different families in Davidson and Cheatham counties had their homes broken into with Christmas presents inside.

In Ashland City, crooks smashed right through the window of one house.

"The suspects took multiple TVs - five or six, to be exact. Some of the TVs were brand new, still in the box," Heflin said.

And they didn't stop at the TVs. The burglars even unwrapped the family's Christmas gifts, decided what they liked and then stole them - even taking the children's clothes.

"Once they feel it's safe to force entry, whether it be a window or a door, when they feel it's safe, then they come in," Heflin said.

Police say putting your tree in your front window is like putting your gifts on display.

"They wrap all those presents, and they put those presents underneath the tree for all to see - sometimes days and weeks before Christmas. You're basically advertising to folks how much you have and what you have," said Metro police Sgt. Mitch Kornberg.

Waiting to put the presents out until the day before Christmas Eve will make your house look less attractive to crooks. And there are some other tips to keep in mind.

"Leaving lights on. Put them on timers, so when one room goes on, the other room goes off. Maybe playing some music or TV to appear someone is home," Kornberg said.

Even after Christmas is over, one thing you don't want to do is put boxes for TVs, gaming systems and other electronics in the front yard with the trash. This also lets criminals know what they could find inside.

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