It's not just the gifts in your home that can be tempting to takers, says the department, also be weary of the credit and gift cards you might have in your wallet or car.
Here are the strategies they say can help keep you safe:
Be extra careful about locking doors and windows when you leave your home.
Don't openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it's easily visible from the street. It's too tempting for a potential criminal to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages. Or plan a later break-in based on their earlier observation.
Don't advertise ...Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, mail, or advertising flyers hanging on the door knob. Don't talk about it on Facebook! Use an inexpensive light timer and have someone pick up the newspaper.
Don't hide spare keys in obvious places.
Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors and windows. Remember about Christmas lights on the house and running the extension cord thru the window.
After Christmas day, don't pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break the boxes down or cut them up to conceal the items better.
Christmas is a time of year during which many of us will be busy shopping and running errands in order to be ready for the Holiday Celebration. We must not forget that criminals will also be out and about looking for easy targets to make a big score.
Stay alert to your surrounds.
Shop before dark, shop with friends, don't park in dark areas.
Lock packages in trunk and keep them out of sight. Make sure your doors are locked.