SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With all of those post-present boxes soon to be left on curbs, the days and weeks after Christmas are a busy time for burglars. They are targeting houses where empty TV and electronic boxes can be seen from the road.

Officer Rob Zink says thieves drive by looking for clues as to what’s on the inside of your home by the boxes you leave on the outside.

“They drive up and down the alley after Christmas looking, and they take note of addresses,” Zink said. “Whether they’re going to come back in a day, come back in a week, or come back in three months, they know exactly what’s in the house now.”

Crime Prevention Specialist Pam McCreary says it’s hard to keep track of the number of houses affected by this crime of opportunity.

“We have a lot of burglaries where they say, ‘I just got this for Christmas. We just got this laptop. We just got this camera equipment. We just got this TV,’” McCreary said.

Modesto police hope residents take matters into their own hands by breaking down boxes, which give thieves less of a reason to come after their stuff.