Empty boxes in your outside trash could tip off would-be burglars that your family received some pretty nice things for Christmas. Statesboro Police Deputy Chief Rob Bryan offers a solution to that problem.
"The men and women of the Statesboro Police Department are always thinking of ways to prevent crime," he said in statement released Friday. "The holiday season is a time filled with the spirit of holiday gift-giving and spending time with loved ones, family, and friends. However, it's unfortunate to say that this time of year can also sometimes be followed by sadness due to an unwelcome occurrence: home burglaries."
This is the time of year "modern-day Grinches" strike, since they can tell from debris outside "which houses are now stocked with brand-new flat screen TVs, computers, cameras and other valuables by the empty gift boxes stacked outside homes waiting for solid waste collection," he said.
Statesboro police have teamed up with departments within the city of Statesboro to introduce "Operation Safe Disposal," he said. "This new program will offer citizens a safe manner to dispose of the boxes, packaging materials and gift wrapping paper from holiday gifts."
The city will be providing containers for holiday box drop-off at five temporary, 24-hour locations to accept boxes, packing materials and wrapping paper through Wednesday, Dec. 28. The locations are as follows:
Statesboro Police Department at 25 W. Grady St.
Statesboro Fire Department Station No. 2 at 1533 Fair Road
Statesboro Public Works Department at 5 Braswell St.
Statesboro Waste Water Treatment Center at 302 Briarwood Road
Public parking lot on Railroad Street at Hill Street
No Christmas trees, household garbage, yard waste or other similar items should be placed in these temporary holiday recycling collection containers, Bryan said.
"We would also like to remind our citizens that the Bulloch County Recycling Centers will be closed on December 24 at 1 p.m. and reopen on December 26 for operation during their normally schedule business hours. Citizens are encouraged to deposit their cardboard boxes for recycling at one of these centers," he said.
Statesboro City Manager Randy Wetmore said he hopes Statesboro residents will use these locations for their safety.
"On behalf of the mayor and City Council and city employees, I want to wish everyone a safe holiday season. We hope that Operation Safe Disposal will help reduce the loss of property by providing people with an alternative place to take their boxes rather than having them sitting in front of their homes for regular pickup," he said.
He reminds people this service does not cost taxpayers any additional money.
"I want to thank the police, public works and engineering departments for working together to create this program and provide an extra service to the residents at no extra cost to the citizens," he said. "This type of interdepartmental cooperation is important in allowing the city to provide a higher level of service than would otherwise be possible."