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Clearwater Police: Be Careful When You Toss that Box

Gifts | Christmas | Gift Boxes

Clearwater police say tossing out empty boxes can be a lure to burglars and thieves. Police offer a safe alternative.

CLEARWATER – You’ve got the new 65-inch TV mounted on the wall and the new computer on the desk in the home office. The kids have the latest PlayStation 4 in their rooms. The big question is – what to do with all of those boxes?

The wrong thing to do, Clearwater police and Clearwater solid waste/recycling officials say, is to put them by the curb for your regular garbage collection.

Leaving empty boxes curbside for hours or even days is a telltale way to let would-be burglars know what kind of loot you got for Christmas. They don’t even have to break in to see what you have.

To combat that, the Clearwater police and solid waste department are teaming up for the sixth year for Operation Safe Disposal. Large trash bins are being placed at nine different sites across the city so that residents can drop off their large boxes instead of leaving them outside their houses. Bins will be available Friday (Dec. 23) through Jan. 2.

“You don’t want the bad guys to know that easily what you have in your house,” police Chief Dan Slaughter said. “When they see those boxes, their eyes light up. They don’t have to guess which house might have what.”

Earl Gloster, director of solid waste and general services for Clearwater, said, “We are proud to offer this service for the citizens of Clearwater for the sixth year. We enjoy being a partner with the police department to keep our neighborhoods safer.”

The bins will be at nine sites throughout Clearwater:

— Clearwater Police Headquarters, 645 Pierce St.
— Countryside Recreation Center/Library, 2642 Sabal Springs Drive
— Clearwater Beach Recreation Center, 69 Bay Esplanade Blvd.
— Clearwater Solid Waste/Recycling Facility, 1701 N Hercules Ave. (out front at recycling drop-off center)
— Morningside Pool, 2400 Harn Blvd.
— Clearwater Fire Station 49, 565 Sky Harbor Drive
— Ross Norton Recreation Center, 1426 S Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
— North MLK Police Sub-station, 1310 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
— Clearwater Fire Station 45, 1140 Court St.

Also remember to keep a record of valuable gifts by documenting make, model, serial numbers and a detailed description. Download a form at

Clearwater Police | Operation Safe Disposal | Gift Boxes | Trash | TB Reporter

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