PASADENA, Texas -

It's a cycle that happens every holiday season: gifts are given, gifts are opened and then all the gift boxes are put on the curb. That last step can be dangerous.

"Just be very cautious of what you put on the curb, and unfortunately you have to learn to think like a criminal," said Vance Mitchell of the Pasadena Police Department.

The Pasadena Police Department is warning homeowners that it's a bad idea to fill your garbage can with the empty boxes from Christmas, because it i essentially advertising to burglars what you have inside your home.

"Our main concern is if you got a big screen TV for Christmas, and you have unwrapped it and put it on the wall, and you have this big box to dispose of, we suggest that you don't just put it our on the curb," said Mitchell.

As Local 2 drove through neighborhoods, it wasn't hard to find boxes out on the curb, displaying what new electronics and toys people got for Christmas.

"A bunch of the neighbors just want to display their prizes, and you are thinking I wanna go to their house to watch the big game, because they might have gotten a big TV, or their kid might have gotten a big go-kart or something like that, in a big box, and that is like a red flag, I would think saying come look in our house," said Jon Cady, homeowner.

Kimberly Jones says in the rush of cleaning the house after the holidays, she didn't realize her trash could attract burglars.

"You just get busy and caught up and the rush of getting everything back out, and I don't stop to think about covering it all back up, but I didn't think about thieves in the neighborhood really...'what about 'next year?...I will be thinking about it, yes," said Kimberly Jones, homeowner.

The Pasadena Police Department says it is also a good idea not to advertise what you got as gifts online because they could also make you a target for burglars.