LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The most wonderful time of the year can also come with some unintended consequences. You may be tempted to trash all of those boxes leftover from your presents, but LMPD warns not so fast.

“Criminals are opportunists. They already want to commit the crime. They just need the opportunity, and oftentimes we get it to them without thinking about it,” LMPD spokesperson Officer Lamont Washington said. "Criminals oftentimes pay attention to times of year when things are easier.”

The holidays can be a jackpot for thieves if you're not careful.

"We're so excited about that 70-inch TV that we got that we don't think about putting the box on the curbside advertises to all of these opportunistic criminals that there's a 70-inch TV inside the home,” Washington said.

The solution to keeping your gifts safe and sound starts with some simple steps.

"Cut the boxes up so they fit in your trashcan, stockpile them in your basement or shed for a few weeks and let it get old before you put it out,” Washington said.

Winter may also inspire you to warm up your car before your commute, but there's a warning for that trick, too.

"If you don't have a remote start, don't leave your car running,” Washington said.

It's illegal to start your car and then lock it with a spare key because there's still something in the ignition.

"It's not too awful hard to get into the car with the door locked. This stuff is quick. It doesn't take 10 or 15 seconds for somebody to break a window out, unlock your door, jump in your car, and take off,” Washington said.

LMPD recognizes the cold isn't comfortable but wants to remind everybody of the alternative.

"It is very inconvenient to get into a cold car. It's also very inconvenient to walk outside and not have your car there,” Washington said.

LMPD also warns against posting about your new TVs or gadgets on social media and then talking about an upcoming trip. The department said that's essentially advertising to the whole world that you've got a lot of nice stuff and you won't be home to protect it. Officers also recommend scheduling a delivery time when you'll be home so packages aren't just sitting on your porch or in your mailbox.