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St. Paul cops' cardboard drop-off is 'huge success,' helps prevent burglaries

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It must have been a dry Christmas for would-be thieves in St. Paul, where police say a recycling program aimed at cutting down holiday burglaries was a "HUGE success."

So what does recycling have to do with theft prevention? Around the holidays, a lot, actually.

In an announcement last week, authorities said burglars can figure out an awful lot about the electronic goodies you have in your home by the empty cardboard boxes you leave outside after the gifts are unwrapped, making you a potential target.

Giving residents a safe place to leave those boxes is the idea behind the recycling drop-off at the Western District Police HQ, which launched on Dec. 21.

The free service, the department says, attracted a lot of residents who left the dumpsters overflowing, as you can see below:

The collection bins may be full, but the department said Monday they would be emptied soon and that they'll take cardboard drop-offs until Jan. 8.

The project is a partnership between the police department, the St. Paul Department of Public Works and Eureka Recycling, and also includes a drop-off at the city's All In Recycling Program at 309 Como Ave.

The holiday season, it turns out, is prime time for burglars – and not just because of the gifts you give and receive. According to KGBT-TV, police say thieves also target homes knowing many people are out of town to visit relatives, or out getting their shopping done.

In Seattle, KIRO 7 says, local crime statistics show the week after Christmas saw about twice the number of burglaries that occurred during a "normal" fall week last year, suggesting that holiday gift-giving leaves ripe pickings for criminals.

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